CIS Leaders to Discuss Topical Issues in Kiev

Kiev is to host a no-neckties CIS summit January 29; the summit won't stipulate any fixed agenda whatsoever. This was disclosed here today by deputy presidential-administration chief Sergei Prikhodko.

At the same time, diplomatic sources in Moscow and Kiev claim that the forthcoming conference will focus on economic issues, i.e. the power industry, energy, transportation and the food market, first and foremost.

Summit participants would be expected to discuss the CIS leadership's rotation; this issue was first raised by the Russian side at the Chisinau summit. The President of Russia suggested back then that the Council of CIS Heads of State be headed by the Ukrainian leader.

Talking to RIA-NOVOSTI, diplomatic sources noted that a rather involved economic-cooperation discussion lay ahead. This can be explained by the fact that the current level of intra-CIS trade-and-economic interaction doesn't match the existing potential, as well as modern global imperatives, i.e. increasingly dominant regional-integration processes.

According to RIA-NOVOSTI's sources, CIS heads of state agreed during the October 2002 Chisinau summit that urgent action had to be taken in order to invigorate economic interaction within the CIS framework.

Quite possibly, the informal summit will pose the question of extending the mandate of collective peace-keeping forces in the zone of the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict; their mandate expired December 31, 2002.

Apart from that, summit participants may avail themselves of this opportunity to exchange opinions on topical international and regional issues, such as the situation around Iraq andNorth Korea and the fight against international terrorism.

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