Lukashenko orders Belarus customs experts to withdraw from Russian-led Customs Union

13:00, 17 March 2017
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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the country's top customs experts to withdraw from their posts at the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), according to The Moscow Times.

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The move follows Lukashenko's refusal to sign the EAEU Customs Code in December 2016 in St. Petersburg. The Belarusian president refused to attend the meeting alongside the EAEU's other members: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, MT reported.

"I did not sign the Customs Code because many things that should be there do not work. I also asked to recall our main specialists from its authorities," Lukashenko announced on Wednesday. He also said that some elements of the new code "did not work."

Read alsoBelarus or Kazakhstan - who's next?An ongoing dispute focused on the Russian-Belarusian border has placed increasing strain on Moscow-Minsk ties in recent months.

Russian security services reintroduced customs and migrations checks along the border in the Bryansk, Smolensk and Pskov regions on February 7, while Belarusian food exports have also come under scrutiny. 

Read alsoEU warned of Ukraine conflict spreading to neighboring Belarus - EU ObserverLukashenko has criticized the decisions as damaging to bilateral ties. The Kremlin has dismissed concerns, arguing that increased security checks are only intended for non-Belarusian nationals.

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