Presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have signed an agreement to create the Eurasian Economic Union to compete with the USA, the EU and China.
The signed agreement will come into force June 1st, following the approval by the parliaments of the three former Soviet Union republics, Reuters has reported.
- Our meeting today of course has a special and, without exaggeration, an epoch-making significance - Russian President Vladimir Putin said in the Kazakhstani capital of Astana, denying that the newly formed union was aimed to reestablish the Soviet Union that had ceased to exist in 1991.
The president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, stated that he saw the new union as "a bridge between the East and the West".
The Eurasian Union will have a total population of over 170 million and a gross domestic product (GDP) of about USD 2.7 billion. Both Kazakhstan and Russia produce oil, and this agreement will only additionally strengthen the existing ties between these countries.
Ukraine has decided not to join this union after its pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted from power in February.
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