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Putin Calls For Eurasian Union In Former Soviet Space

A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

MOSCOW -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has outlined a grand vision for integrating ex-Soviet states in his first major policy initiative since he announced his intention to return to the Kremlin.

In an article on the front page of the daily "Izvestiya," Putin called for the creation of a "Eurasian Union" that would include Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Putin praised Russia's existing Customs Union with the two countries, which plans to remove all barriers to trade, capital, and labor movement next year. He said such a union, founded in 2009, must "build on the experience of the European Union and other regional coalitions."

But Putin stressed that it is time to set a "more ambitious goal" and "to achieve an even higher integration level in the Eurasian Union."

Analysts suggest the proposal is partially an effort to boost the authorities' popularity by tapping into society's nostalgia for the Soviet Union.

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A Eurasianet partner post from RFE/RL

Putin Calls For Eurasian Union In Former Soviet Space

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