President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, colleagues,
Our meeting today is a truly milestone event.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are signing the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union. This document will take our countries to a completely new integration level, fully retaining their national sovereignty, but providing for closer and better-coordinated economic cooperation.
It is very symbolic that we are signing the Treaty in the capital of Kazakhstan, because Nursultan Nazarbayev stood at the origins of this idea: he was the first to mention it when speaking at Moscow State University, as I remember, in 1994.
Today, we are creating together a powerful and attractive economic development centre, a major regional market uniting over 170 million people.
Our Union has immense natural resources, including energy resources. It accounts for 20 percent of the global natural gas reserves and 15 percent of oil reserves.
At the same time, the three states have a developed industrial base, vast labour resources, and a powerful intellectual and cultural potential.
“Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union will take our countries to a completely new integration level, fully retaining their national sovereignty, but providing for closer and better-coordinated economic cooperation.”
Our geographic location makes it possible to create transportation and logistics routes of not only regional, but also global significance and attract large-scale trade from Europe and Asia.
All this is the basis for the competitiveness of our union, for its dynamic development in this rapidly changing and complicated world.
I would like to stress that the Eurasian Economic Union will operate based on universal, transparent and clear principles. This includes the norms and principles of the WTO.
The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union is ready for signing. I would like to stress that this is the result of our joint efforts, and of close interaction between the governments of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Thanks to our general constructive approach and our ability and readiness to compromise, we managed to overcome a large number of obstacles on our way to have the document ready for signing by June 1, 2014, as we planned.
I would like to thank Mr Nazarbayev for his invitation and for organising this event, which he has actually turned into a real celebration.