Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine set to ratify important agreement soon

Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine might well ratify an agreement on establishing their common economic infrastructure even before their respective national parliaments adjourn for a summer recess.

The delegations of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine attending the high-level working group's session agreed to exert every effort for the sake of completely ratifying this agreement by national parliaments within the next 45 days, Ukraine's First Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told reporters, after the four national-delegation chiefs met President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan.

Talking to reporters, Deputy Prime Minister Sauat Mynbayev, who heads the Kazakh delegation, noted that the Kazakh Parliament's April 28 plenary session will discuss the issue of ratifying this agreement.

In Mynbayev's words, there is every hope that the agreement on establishing the common economic infrastructure, which was signed by the Presidents of our four countries in Yalta last September, will be ratified by each country prior to the summer-time parliamentary recess.

For his own part, Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Kobyakov, who heads the Belarussian delegation, said that a fundamental survey of national legislations will be completed by summer, thus making it possible to clarify all essential aspects and to hammer out specific norms of the common economic-area agreement.

In his words, this is needed in order to create the complete 100-agreement package by late 2004. We must streamline the agreement's normative-legal base before the year is out, Kobyakov stressed.

Astana is hosting the 11th session of the high-level working group responsible for establishing the common Russian-Kazakh-Belarussian-Ukrainian economic infrastructure.

According to the Kazakh Foreign Ministry's press center, the session is to examine the implementation of a protocol of the high-level group's tenth session, the results of working groups' activity, those of the permanent organizational-technical working group, as well as the high-level group's next session.

Moreover, it's intended to finalize technical tasks as regards all legislative-work aspects during efforts to set up the afore-mentioned common economic infrastructure.

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