Mr Putin opened his sojourn in Minsk by attending the first meeting of the Interstate Council, the supreme body of the Eurasian Economic Community, or EurAsEC, which unites Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Besides the five heads of state, the Moldovan Prime Minister was taking part as an observer in the meeting at the Belarusian presidential residence.
Mr Putin said in his address that practical achievements alone could prove that the emergent community was an effective lever of its member countries’ economic progress.
The meeting adopted basic instruments regulating EurAsEC activities. The joint statement of the heads of states said, in particular, that the top priority of the Community was to achieve necessary conditions for closer contacts between its member countries in the trade, economic, social and legal spheres with the optimum balance of national and common interests. The document confirmed that the Community was open to all states that shared its goals and principles, and were willing to assume relevant obligations and participate in Community activities as full members or observers.
Nominated by Mr Putin, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev was elected President of the EurAsEC Interstate Council for a one-year term.