In other 'Russia et al' news, Eurasian Economic Union came into force this week. This includes original founders (2010): Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, plus Armenia which joined in October 2014. In May, Kyrgyzstan is expected to join, having signed formal agreement last month.
Here's a summary of the EEU economic position, based on IMF data and forecasts.
The EEU objective is to increase economic integration and coordination within the sub-set of CIS states. Like the EU, it also sets a target of achieving integrated energy and capital markets.
In 2012, the EEU founding states agreed to implement free mobility of labour and capital, as well as free movement of goods and services. While there were transitionary periods set, integration to-date has been relatively limited and in recent months it came under increasing pressure, primarily driven by Belarus, but also, to a lesser extent, by tougher-talking Kazakhstan.
Ruble crisis certainly not making things easier. In recent weeks, there have been renewed border inspections between Russia and Belarus, and the latter demanded that trade with Russia be settled in foreign currency, not Ruble.
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