(From R) President Putin shakes hands with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting 
of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Astana. Kyrgyzstan and Armenia may also  join the union.
(From R) President Putin shakes hands with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev and Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko during a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Astana. Kyrgyzstan and Armenia may also join the union.

Eurasian Economic Union, a trading bloc of more than 170 million people, could serve as an efficient bridge between Europe and Asia-Pacific region

Moscow : The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Thursday created an economic union that intends to boost cooperation between the ex-Soviet neighbours, a pact which was at the source of the crisis in Ukraine, reports AP.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Eurasian Economic Union – which Moscow had pushed Ukraine to join, helping spark the worst crisis in relations between Russia and the West since the Cold War – takes the countries’ cooperation to a “new level” while respecting their sovereignty.

“We are creating a powerful and attractive centre of economic development, a major regional market bringing together over 170 million people,” Putin said during talks in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana.

He added that the pact would allow the countries to exploit their economic potential and strengthen their positions i global markets.

With a combined annual economic output of $2.2 trillion a year, the alliance’s economic size would be close to that of Britain and well below that of the US’s $17 trillion.

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