The preparations to sign the agreement on the Eurasian Economic Union must be completed by January 1, 2013, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
The new union will be forged on the basis of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) which brings together Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
"By January 1, 2013, all preparations for the signing of the agreement on Eurasian Economic Union must be accomplished," Putin said at a EurAsEC interstate committee meeting in Minsk, where the Russian prime minister proposed discussing the draft declaration that will lay out the principles on which the economic union will be created.
Putin said the level of integration between the economies of the member states of the new union will be higher than in EurAsEC.
"The creation of such a union will help us maintain mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries, international and regional economic unions, including the EU, with the subsequent creation of a common economic space," Putin said.
"Starting January 1, 2012, a common market with unified legislation, free movement of capital, goods, services and labor force should start working [under the EurAsEC] - and in prospect its economic policy in key spheres will also be coordinated," he added.
MINSK, May 19 (RIA Novosti)