Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Source: Press TV
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called on former Soviet states to join hands for the creation of a Eurasian Union, while rejecting the notion that he was attempting to resurrect the USSR.
"It would be naive to try to restore or copy something that belongs to the past, but a close integration based on new values and economic and political foundation is a demand of the present time," Putin said in an article published in the Russian daily Izvestiya.
Putin said the alliance would become a powerful global player, serving as “one of the poles of the modern world” as well as an “efficient link between Europe and the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.”
He further added that an economic cooperation group consisting of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan would come into force in 2012.
The three countries had during the past summer removed all customs barriers in mutual trade and are as of January 1 expected to introduce a set of collective market rules and regulations.
Putin further hinted that both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are expected to join the new economic group.
He did, however, said that the development of the Eurasian Union was not meant to act as a hinder for the country's aspiration to establish closer ties with the European Union.