DAVOS, January 23 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday rejected rumors about Russia’s plans to revive the Soviet Union as completely absurd.
“We very often hear reproaches … that the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space are a revival of the Soviet Union. This is complete nonsense and there is no path back into the past. We have all [former Soviet republics] become different and are looking into the future and we have a clear-cut plan for strengthening cooperation on a mutually advantageous basis,” Medvedev told the World Economic forum at Davos.
Based on the 2000 Treaty establishing the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC), the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement in Dushanbe in October 2007 on creating a common customs space and Customs Union. The agreement stipulates that other EurAsEC member states can join the Customs Union as soon as they are prepared for this move.
EurAsEC has included Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan since its creation. Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine have observer status.
Last week, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev also denied that Eurasian economic integration was a disguised revival of the USSR. President Vladimir Putin also made similar comments in December 2012 after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed that economic integration in the former Soviet space was a cover for recreation of the Soviet Union.
Medvedev also proposed creating a common economic space with the European Union, which could serve as the basis for a common market stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
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News that Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin would resign in order to run for the mayoral election in September came as quite a shock. Sobyanin’s political potential is fairly dubious, not to mention his approval ratings. He has not finished many of the projects he initiated and the electoral effect from these projects is expected to come a bit later than September 2013. Sobyanin’s opponents were not entirely unprepared for this blitzkrieg.