Eurasian Economic Union enlarges with addition of Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan becomes fifth member of Union, as common electricity market created

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Kyrgyzstan joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) on Friday, the Russia presidency has announced.

The country officially became the fifth member of the Russia-driven Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) after Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

Kyrgyzstan is one of the poorest countries in Central Asia, with a per capita GDP of under $1,300 in 2013, according to the World Bank.

“Following the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (SEEC) meeting, a set of documents was signed on Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the organization,” the Kremlin said on its website.

The heads of state of the EEA’s member countries, now including,President of Kyrgyzstan  Almazbek Atambayev, also agreed on the creation of a common electricity market in the Union and the liberalisation of motor trucking services.

"Decisions were also made concerning free trade between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and negotiations with China on signing an agreement on trade and economic cooperation," the statement added.

“Closer trade and investment ties will certainly promote further socio economic development in our nations, enhancing our nations' competitiveness in the global economy and ultimately ensuring improvement in our citizens’ wellbeing,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

“Eurasian integration is proving to be effective: mutual trade between participating nations grew by nearly $20 billion, trade infrastructure has improved, the share of high value-added goods increased and the share of raw materials has decreased quite significantly – from 40 percent to 28.9 percent.”

"When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Kazakhstan, he expressed that Turkey wants to sign a trade agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union. We also need to talk about this," Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, said at the signing ceremony of Kyrgyzstan's membership.

"We have created the Eurasian Economic Union, which has now grown: Armenia was the first to join, and Friday, we welcomed Kyrgyzstan. In spite of the fact that trade is lagging under crisis conditions, I feel that the Eurasian Economic Union has great promise," Nazarbayev said during the meeting with Putin.

“Just look at why many nations want to join us: China wants to create a free economic zone, we signed agreements with Vietnam today, Turkey wants to be with us and India wants to be with us. In other words, this union is in demand, and it is appreciated by others.”

The EAA aims at the free movement of goods, services and capital, as well as coordinated policies in agriculture and industry, cooperation in major infrastructure projects and the formation of joint energy markets for natural gas and petroleum products.