Putin: Customs union will lead to ‘supranational union’

October 03. Universal Newswires

Putin: Customs union will lead to ‘supranational union’The tripartite customs union formed by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus in 2010 hopes to morph into a broader supranational organization that will create a “full-fledged economic union,” Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrote in an article published on Monday.

Putin published the article in Russian newspaper Izvestia.

The Russian premier described the union as a “historic landmark – not only for our three countries, but also for all post-Soviet states.”

The union has its roots in the Common Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEc) and even the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), despite its “unfulfilled expectations.”

The current customs union is primarily a business agreement that seeks to improve companies’ efficiency and improve their business practices, Putin said.

He called for expansion of the customs union’s powers, that will allow the fledgling organization to “make decisions on competition policy” and on other matters.

To accomplish this, a collegiate body should be established, with representatives from all member states, to oversee and implement decisions independently.

Putin ultimately sees the customs union branching out to include more members, such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and expanding its role.

“We propose a model of a powerful supranational union capable of becoming one of the poles of the modern world and play the role of an effective ‘binding’ between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific region,” Putin wrote.

“In particular, this means that on the basis of the customs union and common economic space (SES) should proceed a closer coordination of economic and monetary policy, to create a full-fledged economic union.”

Putin insisted that he is not seeking to recreate the Soviet Union, nor will the growth of the customs union blight the progress of the CIS.

He vowed that Russia will work to make the CIS stronger, and is planning to launch a series of projects in the transportation, technology and socioeconomic development fields for CIS members.

He emphasized that as it stands, the customs union is eager to engage with other economic blocs, he said.

“The customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have already started talks on creating a free trade zone with the European Free Trade Association,” while talks are also planned with Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization.