Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan customs union ratified.

By bne IntelliNews July 6, 2010
As announced by Russia's president Dmitry Medvedev, Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is officially launched as of July 6 2010. At the same time, Kirgizia and Tajikistan expressed their interest of joining the union. Among the agreements ratified as part of launching the union are action-plan of forming unified economic space between the three states, cooperation in criminal and administrative spheres and, most notably, export control of the Customs Union participants. Export tariffs, especially for oil and oil products remain a problematic issue between Russia and Belarus, even after the ratification of the agreements. Belarus insisted on abandoning oil export tariffs once the union is formed, while Russian side is willing to keeping the tariffs until a unified economic space is formed, which is planned no sooner than 2012. To remind, last month disagreements over natural gas export tariffs to Belarus and gas transit tariffs led to a conflict between Russia's Gazprom and Belarusian BelTransGaz, during which daily natural gas supplies to Belarus were limited by Gazprom and Russia's natural gas transit to Europe was partially diverted by BelTransGaz for domestic needs.

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