NUR-SULTAN (TCA) — At a May 29 summit of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), a trade grouping that comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, former Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev has become the honorary chairman of the EEU Economic Commission (the governing body of the organization).
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed naming Nazarbayev the honorary chairman of the EEU Economic Commission and the other leaders supported the idea.
The summit in Kazakhstan’s capital was meant to mark the 25th anniversary of Nazarbayev's public call for the creation of the EEU and the fifth anniversary of the treaty that established it.
The EEU was established on the basis of the Customs Union under a treaty that was signed by Putin, Nazarbayev, and Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and came into force on January 1, 2015.
During the summit, Nazarbayev awarded the presidents of Russia, Kyrgyzstan, and Belarus a medal named after himself, RFE/RL reported.
Nazarbayev presented the Order of The First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev separately to Vladimir Putin, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, and Aleksandr Lukashenko. The medal features a likeness of Nazarbayev's face in profile.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, interim Kazakh President Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, and President Igor Dodon of Moldova, which has observer status in the EEU, also attended the meeting. Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, whose country is not an EEU member, took part as a guest.
Observers say Putin seeks to use the EEU to bolster Moscow's influence in the former Soviet Union.