DUSHANBE, October 30, Asia-Plus – Heads of government from the Euro-Asian Economic Community (EAEC) member nations have passed a 2007 budget.

The prime ministers of EEAC, an economic alliance of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, gathered in Moscow Friday, October 27, to discuss forming a customs union.  The meeting was attended by the premiers of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan, and the deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan, which joined the economic regional club in early 2006.

The agenda of the EAEC Interstate Council’s 17th meeting at the level of prime ministers on Friday centered on the completion of work on a customs union and the formation of a common energy market.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov said at a news conference that the “whole year 2007 should be dedicated to the introduction in force of a common normative and legal base of the customs union, the formation of a common trade policy and a common customs space with common customs rates”.  “It is very important to speed up the work to form the normative-legal base of the EAEC customs union,” Fradkov said.

Kazakh Prime Minister Danial Akhmetov, in turn, said that “we shall be able to create a common energy market of the EAEC as fastly as we manage to resolve the problem of a common market”.

The sides discussed a concept of the rational use of the Central Asian region’s water and energy resources.

Kyrgyzstan’s Prime Minister Felix Kulov said that “this concept is very important, but the country’s hydroelectric stations are as yet not fully ready for the implementation of it”.

Belarus Prime Minister Sergey Sidorsky proposed a common leasing program in the agrarian sector with attraction of investment from the recently formed Eurasian Bank.  “We have set up an initiative group that is doing an active work in this direction,” he said.

The EAEC Interstate Council will hold a next meeting in May 2007 in Astana, Kazakhstan.  The Interstate Council meets two times a year.