Kyrgyzstan becomes full-fledged member of Eurasian Economic Union

Kyrgyzstan becomes a full-fledged member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on Thursday, August 6.

Kyrgyzstan becomes a full-fledged member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on Thursday, August 6.

"The treaty on Kyrgyzstan’s joining the Eurasian Economic Union comes into force from August 6, 2015," the Eurasian Economic Commission said in a statement on Wednesday. "Kyrgyzstan becomes the fifth full-fledged member of the Eurasian Economic Union along with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

In the meantime, Kyrgyzstan seems to be cautious when speaking about the date for opening customs borders with other EEU member states. Initially, the ceremony of closing customs offices was planned for Thursday but was postponed due to formalities. Bishkek says it will take place in several days. A source in the Kyrgyz government told TASS all the formalities would be settled not earlier than August 11-12.

The treaty on Kyrgyzstan’s joining the Eurasian Economic Union was signed on December 23, 2014 and its protocols that are part and parcel of the treaty were inked on May 8, 2015. "Under these protocols, the treaty is to come into force after the last ratification," Kyrgyz Economics Minister Oleg Pankratov said. "All the countries that were to ratify the treaty have completed domestic procedures and referred corresponding notes to the Eurasian Economic Commission."

The last note, in his words, is to come to the Eurasian Economic Commission from Kazakhstan. "[Kazakh President] Nursultan Nazarvayev has already signed the law on ratification and the note had been submitted to the foreign ministry. But it has not yet reached the Eurasian Economic Commission," Pankratov said, adding that customs offices at Kyrgyzstan’s border with Kazakhstan would be closed as soon as the Eurasian Economic Commission received the note.

The Kyrgyz side, Pankratov stressed, is ready to open its section of the border with the Eurasian Economic Union. "There have been several inspections, which checked the preparedness of our outer borders with third countries. We have completely fulfilled our liabilities on that matter," he said, adding that border crossing point had been fitted with state-of-the-art equipment purchased from the funds lent by Russia. "So, there is no problem in lifting customs control," the Kyrgyz minister underscored. He said that the full-fledged membership in the Eurasian Economic Union envisaged the transition to a common customs tariff, abandonment of exams and quotas for labour migrants from his country across the entire Eurasian Economic Union and granting a certain social package to them, including medical services.

This is not the first time when the opening of Kyrgyzstan’s customs borders was postponed. In early 2015, Bishkek hoped to do that after May 8, the day of signing of protocols to the treaty on its accession to the EEU. Other possible dates were July 1 and July 25 but Kyrgyzstan’s EEU partners had failed to be through with domestic formalities by those dates.

The Kyrgyz government took a decision to join the Customs Union [of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan] in the spring of 2011. In May 2015, the republic completed all necessary domestic procedures and in July the parliament of all other member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union ratified the treaty on Kyrgyzstan’s accession. Out of all other EEU states, Kyrgyzstan has a common border only with Kazakhstan.

First published by TASS.

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