Big news in the international trade world: Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will officially participate in a newly formed customs union. According to various English language reports, the customs union will go into force today. The signing is a victory for Russia's leaders, who have pushed the customs union for a variety of reasons, notably to re-establish Russia as a regional hub for trade and finance. However, the ratification appears to delay Russia's long-stalled membership application for the World Trade Organization. Now, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus will collectively apply.
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