Oct 4, 2011
Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he wants to bring ex-Soviet states into a “Eurasian Union” in an article which outlined his first foreign policy initiative as he prepares to return to the Kremlin as the country’s next president.
Putin said the new union would build on an existing Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan which from next year will remove all barriers to trade, capital and labour movement between the three countries.
“We are not going to stop there and are setting an ambitious goal — to achieve an even higher integration level in the Eurasian Union,” Putin wrote in an article which will be published in Izvestia newspaper on Oct. 4.
Putin said last month he would run in the March 2012 presidential election and his current public approval ratings show that he is set to win.
Putin’s initiative comes as Russia nears the end of its 18-year-old negotiations to join the World Trade Organization. In the article Putin made no secret of his scepticism about the global trade watchdog.