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Monday, 24 February 2003

RUSSIA, UKRAINE, BELARUS, KAZAKHSTAN AGREE ON JOINT ECONOMIC ZONE

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By empty (2/24/2003 issue of the CACI Analyst)

President Putin and the presidents of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan held an unexpected meeting in the Moscow suburb of Novo-Ogarevo on 23 February, after which they announced that they had reached agreement in principle on the creation of a \"joint economic space\" covering the four countries, Western and Russian news agencies reported. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said the countries will prepare an agreement on the project by September and take measures to coordinate their economic policies and legislative environments. Putin said the four countries have agreed to create a supranational commission on trade and tariffs that will be based in Kyiv and will be initially headed by a representative of Kazakhstan.
President Putin and the presidents of Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan held an unexpected meeting in the Moscow suburb of Novo-Ogarevo on 23 February, after which they announced that they had reached agreement in principle on the creation of a \"joint economic space\" covering the four countries, Western and Russian news agencies reported. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said the countries will prepare an agreement on the project by September and take measures to coordinate their economic policies and legislative environments. Putin said the four countries have agreed to create a supranational commission on trade and tariffs that will be based in Kyiv and will be initially headed by a representative of Kazakhstan. He said this commission will not be subordinate to the governments of the four countries. The ultimate goal of the economic alliance will be the creation of a regional-integration organization that will be open to other countries that might want to join, Putin said. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev said the new economic zone will not replace the CIS, but represents a new form of integration under which economic ties will have priority over political relations. (RFE/RL)
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