Updated at 16:11,02-12-2016

Economist Ridicules Establishment of Customs Union

Economic analyst Leanid Zaika has ridiculed the move by Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia to establish a Customs Union, suggesting that it was given excessive hype.

On November 27, the presidents of the three states signed in Minsk fundamental documents finalizing the establishment of the Union.

Mr. Zaika told BelaPAN that the project was "a ridiculous return to the Soviet Union" and "another strange document" signed in the post-Soviet region.

"From the scientific or economic point of view, there is nothing interesting about it; the introduction of uniform customs duty rates is an absolutely simple procedure that can be performed without great pomp and, perhaps, much attention from the public," Mr. Zaika said. "The matter is of more interest to companies and private businesses, which we have few."

"They first broke down the Soviet Union and then started to return to common procedures and rules, declaring it some victory," the expert noted. "And it is being done by three countries that have long been seen as some union. These are authoritarian regimes the political culture of which is not western."

Mr. Zaika stressed that the signing of the documents was no sensation. "The things should have been done 15 years ago, without hype, lamentations and voodoo rituals. To sum it up, this is a boring topic," he said.