BISHKEK/MOSCOW. A forum of the Eurasian Economic Community, or EEC, started in Moscow today. The EEC groups Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. According to Russian news agencies, participants at today's meeting discussed ways of integrating their economies, as well as suggestions for sustainable economic development. Deputy prime minister, and minister of transportation and communication Kubanychbek Jumaliev is leading the Kyrgyz delegation at the forum.
The chairman of the Inter-state Council of the Eurasian Economic Community, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, said today that the community should work toward having a common currency by 2011.
Nazarbayev told the meeting that the present system the community employs - paying each other with foreign currency - is ridiculous. Nazarbayev said such a system invites corruption and embezzlement.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said the EEC should think about using the rouble as the common currency, noting that Belarus is already due to start using the Russian rouble as of January 1, 2005.
However, some Kyrgyz economy analysts say that it is unlikely that Kyrgyzstan joins the idea of abandoning its national currency introduced on May 10, 1993, and having been successful since then.