MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) — The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which share a customs-free zone, have discussed measures to prevent illegal supplies of embargoed goods to Russia, the Kremlin said Wednesday.
“[The leaders] have discussed certain matters of cooperation within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union, which is currently being formed. These matters include measures to prevent illegal delivery to Russia via Belarus and Kazakhstan of goods, banned for import from certain states under a recent governmental decree," the Kremlin said in a statement.
Both Kazakhstan and Belarus are founding members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAU). Belarus earlier pledged to widen its range of exports to Russia by including noodles, vegetables, groceries, confectionary products, meat and dairy products. Minsk also pledged to ensure complete transparency on the Russian-Belarusian border in light of the Russian ban on food imports from a number of countries.
Russia is relying its economic partners outside the European Union for agricultural imports. At present, it is seeking to replace essential EU deliveries by products from blocs that Russia is a member of, including the fledgling EAU and the BRICS group of emerging economies.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order on economic measures to protect the country’s security. The decree banned for a year imports of agricultural and food products from countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan signed the EAU Treaty on May 29, which is to enter into force on January 1. The creation of the EAU paves the way for deeper integration among members of the Customs Union, which was formed by the three countries in 2010 and serves as the basis for the Eurasian Economic Union.