Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will launch their customs union in 2011, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters here on Saturday.
Putin was here for the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) summit, which focused on economic integration and energy cooperation, as well as on a number of financial issues. The Russian president said he and the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan have signed the documents that provide the legal foundation for a customs union between the three countries. The customs union is an efficient tool for promoting cooperation within the framework of EurAsEC and will gradually take on new members, Putin said. He said EurAsEC was working on establishing a common energy market and exploring the more efficient use of water in central Asia. EurAsEc, established in 2001, now consists of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. (people.com.cn)