Today the leaders of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan signed the documents for entry into force of the Customs Code of the total for the three countries. We were asked to comment on the event Talganay Umbetalieva, a political scientist from Almaty, the director of the Central Fund for Democracy.
PC: Could you briefly explain to our listeners, what are the advantages of this union for Kazakhstan?
Umbetalieva: I think that these benefits are quite large, although at an early stage can be a lot of difficulties. First, I think that these benefits include improving the competitiveness of our businesses. This is very useful because we have a fairly ambitious goal — to enter into the 50 most developed countries of the world. I think that the Customs Union will allow us to implement a series of economic programs. But the most important — is to increase the competitiveness of our products and access to the highest, international level.
PC: But in this union there are significant differences. Here Belarus would like to see the introduction of the Customs Code is automatically canceled the export duty on Russian oil. Russia and Kazakhstan believe that before the formation of a single economic space and the entry into force of this treaty by a single space, each party has the right to collect an export duty. How do you assess the prospects for inter-state formation, which at the beginning of such different positions?
Umbetalieva: I think it was fairly predictable that such contradictions arise. Especially since the main component of the economies of both Russia and Kazakhstan is the oil, and for Belarus — is transportation of oil, then, on what it can to make money. I do not think this is a serious problem for the future. Of course, now it is problematic, but I do not think that the Customs Union would be worse off, especially now that we are seeing the alignment of the new format of relations between the former Soviet republics — the search for compromise. Certainly, over the last 20 years, each republic went the way of development, and therefore the current efforts to integrate something that's causing such controversy. This is a fairly common situation.
PC: Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has said that the three countries of the Customs Union will conduct joint negotiations to join the World Trade Organization. According to you, the Customs Union — a hindrance or an advantage in the way of these countries in the WTO?
Umbetalieva: This is a hard question, because as far as I understand, in each of the three countries has its own position on accession to the WTO. As we remember, Medvedev said that it all depends on the speed. If the development Mytaga Union will be quicker than the entry into the WTO, Russia chooses the Customs Union. It seems to me that the Customs Union will not be a big hindrance, although a number of countries in the WTO is quite clearly stated his position, saying that the Customs Union will be an obstacle for them in the WTO. It is difficult to clearly answer this question. But since the Customs Union has already entered into force, these three countries will join the WTO, on the basis of the actual situation.