KIEV, August 20 (Itar-Tass) — The CIS members will sign a new agreement on a free trade zone on October 18, Ukraine’ s UNIAN quoted government sources as saying on Saturday.
According to UNIAN, Ukraine intends to sign this agreement even if it fails to agree with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The Ukrainian authorities took a decision to this effect after the working group coordinated the final draft agreement in Moscow on August 3-4.
The government document says Tajikistan insists on imposing import duties, which were not used earlier in trade with CIS countries, that hampers the existing trade regime for Ukraine. For its part, Uzbekistan insists on taking into account all remarks related to ignoring the exceptions for the existing trade regime and giving up provisions of the WTO agreements on certain issues.
The Ukrainian government also says Russia’s position on solving these issues is not too firm.
According to earlier reports, Ukraine seeks to sign a new agreement on a free trade zone with CIS countries, a government official said.
Valery Muntiyan, government plenipotentiary representative for cooperation with Russia, CIS states and the Eurasian Economic Community, said an agreement to this effect “should be signed at a session of the heads of government on May 19”.
This agreement “have a rather big potential”, Muntiyan said.
The signing of an agreement on a CIS free trade zone has been postponed due to Ukraine’s European integration strive, Sergei Glazyev, the secretary of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, said.
“The signing of the sectoral free trade zone agreement has been postponed over problems that have emerged in the European integration direction,” Glazyev said. “We do not know what kind of conditions Ukraine is proposing under the free trade zone agreement with the European Union.”
“The European Union is both our serious partner and rival, and we are to be sure that European integration will give us a common economic effect,” he went on. “It is vital to stick to common negotiating positions. We are in talks with the European Union in the framework of the Customs Union, we are ready to pool our efforts to win best opportunities for our enterprises.”
At their May 19 meeting in Moscow, CIS heads of government decided to postpone the signing of the free trade zone agreement.
Moldova is also ready to sign an agreement on a multilateral free trade zone in the CIS, Minister of Economy Valery Lazer said.
The vice-prime minister represented Moldova at the upcoming CIS summit to open in Minsk on May 19. Lazer told reporters that Moldova “is ready to sign an agreement on a multilateral free trade zone in the CIS”. “The talks on this issue are practically over. There are no unsolved problems between Moldova and Russia apart from certain nuances,” he noted.
At the same time, he stressed that mutually advantageous cooperation within the CIS and European integration were one of the priorities for Moldova. “Russia is one of the key economic partners of our republic,” Lazer said.
Economic cooperation of CIS countries will dominate at the CIS summit in Minsk. The summiteers will sign an agreement on a free trade zone and a draft interstate programme of innovation cooperation till 2020. The summit will also focus on security, including food security, the creation of bodies of industrial cooperation within the CIS and preparations for the celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the CIS.