You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Putin forms ex-Soviet trade bloc in bid to challenge EU, US

LiveMint logoLiveMint 29-05-2014 Ilya Arkhipov

Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty with his counterparts from Kazakhstan and Belarus creating a trading bloc of more than 170 million people to challenge the US and European Union.

The formal creation of the Eurasian Economic Union in the Kazakh capital Astana marks the culmination of more than two decades of talks between former Soviet republics. Kyrgyzstan and Armenia are seeking to join the union by the end of the year, the countries’ leaders said at the signing ceremony on Thursday.

Putin, facing sanctions from the US and EU for his annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, said Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus will gradually align their currencies and monetary policies to facilitate trade and minimalize risks. Putin has pushed for Ukrainian membership in the union.

The Eurasian Union is a realization of Putin’s geopolitical dream, said Nikolay Petrov, a scholar at the Carnegie Moscow Center research group. The Eurasian Union is a demonstration that Russia is not alone. BLOOMBERG

More From LiveMint

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon