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Kyrgyzstan Joins Eurasian Union, Takes Leap Into the Dark

A shopper pays for wares at a clothing stand in a market in the town of Kara-Suu on August 7. With Kyrgyzstan’s full membership to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, prices for goods from member countries will decrease while prices for goods from China, Turkey, Iran, and other major non-member exporters stand to go up. (Photo: Peter Leonard)

After months of stops and starts, Kyrgyzstan is finally becoming a full-fledged member of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
 
With that, the country has entered what boosters of the bloc hope will be a period of economic recovery. Everybody else seems uncertain of what to expect.
 
“We’ll live and we’ll learn,” said Azim, a resident of Kara-Suu, a southern market town whose prosperity has for years relied on the sale and trade of imported goods. “As for me, I think it will be good, because the flour from Kazakhstan will be cheaper.”
 
Along with bakers, better times may be coming for anybody whose costs will be reduced by the disappearance of import duties on goods from the other four EEU members – Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.
 

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Kyrgyzstan Joins Eurasian Union, Takes Leap Into the Dark

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