Eurasian Economic Union looks to Europe

(AGI) Astana, May 22 - An energy group such as Italy's Eni "issure to derive great benefit from the Eurasian Economic Unionand over time to gain value across Eurasia," said Kazakhstan'sEnergy and Infrastructure Minister, Tair Mansurov. He is also amember of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).Mr Mansurov stopped to talk to AGI at the Astana Economic Forum(AEF), a platform for dialogue founded on the initiative ofPresident Nursultan Nazarbayev and now in its eighth year. Theforum is due to discuss the EEU, which was founded at lastyear's AEF and

(AGI) Astana, May 22 - An energy group such as Italy's Eni "issure to derive great benefit from the Eurasian Economic Unionand over time to gain value across Eurasia," said Kazakhstan'sEnergy and Infrastructure Minister, Tair Mansurov. He is also amember of the board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).Mr Mansurov stopped to talk to AGI at the Astana Economic Forum(AEF), a platform for dialogue founded on the initiative ofPresident Nursultan Nazarbayev and now in its eighth year. Theforum is due to discuss the EEU, which was founded at lastyear's AEF and is pursuing integration in the region. "I knowEni very well. It is very active in Kazakhstan and Russia andis a very well-known energy company. Its value in Kazakhstanand Russia is definitely destined to grow across the EurasianUnion which has no other interest than to interact with them."The union has five members, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus,Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, but intends to extend to all countriesof the former Soviet bloc, and is also courting Turkey andVietnam, to open further to business with Europe. "Theformation of this common market, due to start on January 1,2019, will certainly help improve the situation and giveimpetus to the sale and production of energy," he said. "Thereis a huge energy potential in many of these countries, and ifwe give them the opportunity they will produce it moreefficiently. It is a concept that has been accepted by allmember states and so it will work." The intention is also tointeract with Europe on infrastructure, trade and exchange ofknow-how. "We have studied the process of European integrationthat is a constructive for us," said the minister. He alsopresented the forum with President Nazarbayev's book,"Implementation of the Eurasian Project". The book marks theperiod from March 1994, when the Kazakh leader had his visionof a free trade area in Eurasia, to it becoming reality in Junelast year..