Lawmakers of Russia’s State Duma will meet on September 26 to ratify a treaty creating an initially three-member-state Eurasian Economic Union, a senior deputy of the nation's lower house of parliament said on Thursday.
The union plans free movement of goods, services, capital and labour as an extension of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
It is to come into effect on January 1 next year, assuming the treaty is approved by the parliaments of its three founding nations. Membership is open to other states assessed as sharing the assembly's aims and principles, its founders say.
Friday's trail-blazing move was announced by Leonid Slutsky, chairing the State Duma's committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots.
The treaty establishing the union was signed by presidents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus Vladimir Putin, Nursultan Nazarbayev and Alexander Lukashenko in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, in May.
Union institutions will build on those of the customs union and its Common Economic Space. They include a Supreme Eurasian Economic Council comprising the three heads of state, and an Intergovernmental Council of heads of government.
Below these are the Eurasian Economic Commission and the Court of the Eurasian Economic Union. The commission will be based in Moscow to serve as the union's economic centre. The court will sit in the Belarusian capital, Minsk, serving to resolve legal aspects of the union’s work.
Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, will be the union's main financial centre, hosting a supranational authority to regulate its financial markets.