Common economic environment no rival to CIS

The agreement to form a common economic environment on the territory of Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan is not intended as a counterweight to the CIS. Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade Dmitry Sukhoparov said this Thursday following a government session, which approved the draft agreement on creating the economic quartet.

This quartet is not designed to counterbalance the CIS. Moreover, any CIS country can join the quartet in line with the common economic environment regulations, he said.

The ministry spokesman noted the package of relevant agreements was based on CIS co-operation documents.

According to Sukhoparov, the four countries should demonstrate the efficiency of the agreement to other CIS countries.

Any other country, even a CIS non-member state, can join us, he remarked.

The representative of the ministry also noted the common economic environment would in no way affect Russia-Belarus bilateral relations.

On the contrary, the project will have a positive effect on the two countries' relations, as seeking to liberalise trade regimes. And the more obstacles we will eliminate, the more effective bilateral relations will be," he remarked.

According to Sukhoparov, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan make 90 % of Russia's entire trade turnover with the CIS countries and 15 % of its foreign trade. Belarus ranks second in Russia's trade turnover, Ukraine - third, and Kazakhstan features among the top ten countries conducting stable trade with Russia.

According to Sukhoparov, the formation of the common economic environment meets the interests of the quartet countries, as having similar economic parameters and the largest economic potential in the CIS.

Besides, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan highly value Russia's market, for our countries are linked by large-scale technological and production co-operation in industry, the common economic environment spokesman noted.

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