Tuesday, July 24, 2012 -
Russia supports Kyrgyzstan’s desire to join the customs union in the near future, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told visiting Kyrgyz Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov.
“Russia’s invariable decision is that Kyrgyzstan should become a member of the customs union,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Medvedev as saying to Babanov.
The administration of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has pushed for Kyrgyz accession to the customs union – which now has only Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus as members – despite criticisms from other factions in the government who worry that Kyrgyzstan’s position as a re-exporter of Chinese goods will be compromised.
“We have filed an application to join the customs union and a group of experts is currently at work,” Babanov told Medvedev. “The path has been chosen and it is only a matter of time.”
Russia will also provide grain to Kyrgyzstan, as a significant portion of Kyrgyz crops has been damaged by drought conditions.
The two countries also agreed to cooperate on $4 billion in hydropower projects on the Naryn River, and will draft a document on the construction of the plants by September.