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EurAsEC to consider admitting Uzbekistan in January

MINSK, December 20 (RIA Novosti, Olesya Luchaninova) - The post-Soviet Euro-Asian Economic Community (EurAsEC) will discuss Uzbekistan's application for membership at a summit in St. Petersburg in the second half of January, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday.

"Uzbekistan's step toward joining EurAsEC says a lot - primarily that the organization must by no means be discarded," Lukashenko said at a meeting with EurAsEC Secretary General Grigory Rapota.

He said the five-member alliance, which, along with Belarus, includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, has the potential to develop into a powerful organization.

"Some think EurAsEC doesn't exist. We must prove them wrong, [prove that on the contrary,] this is a viable organization and that it has a future. We must create an economically strong organization, [with] an effectively working single customs area, in order to prove to everyone in doubt that the Eurasian Economic Community can get a lot of problems solved," Lukashenko said.

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