CIS HEADS OF GOVERNMENT MEETING
The Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) meeting in Minsk on 23 May extended an invitation to Marek Belka, UNECE Executive Secretary, to participate in its Head of Government meeting.
The CIS has decided to develop an economic strategy aimed at strengthening trade and economic relations between its 12 states participants and increasing the CIS countries’ economic growth and competitiveness. The strategy will be finalized within the next five months and be presented at the CIS Summit meeting in Autumn 2008.
Because a number of the priorities of the draft Strategy (for example energy, transport, trade, competitiveness and innovation) correspond to priority sectors of UNECE, it was proposed that UNECE could make a meaningful contribution to the elaboration and finalization of the strategy, and subsequently to its implementation. UNECE was the only external body invited to the meeting.
TURKMENISTAN RETURNS TO THE STAGE IN HOSTING CIS SUMMIT
On 22 November 2007 the Turkmen capital, Ashgabat hosted a meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States for the first time in nearly 15 years. The big topic on the agenda is harmonizing customs' procedures to allow the sharing of electricity and the transportation of goods within the CIS. The President of Turkmenistan, Mr. Berdymukhammedov said recently that Turkmenistan has no plans to stray from its UN-recognized status as a neutral country, which could be interpreted as saying that Turkmenistan will have better cooperation with the CIS and some of its institutions but is not quite ready for full membership.
CIS SUMMIT IN MINSK DISCUSSES CIS REFORM BUT DEFERS DECISION
Eleven presidents participated in a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Minsk on November 28, Belarusian and international media reported. Turkmenistan, whose President Saparmurat Niyazov routinely ignores such gatherings, was represented in Minsk by a deputy prime minister. "The main achievement of the organization is that it promotes cooperation," Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said while opening the meeting. But he also admitted that "actions often lag behind decisions" within the CIS. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev told journalists after the summit that CIS leaders discussed a report on reforming the CIS and ordered their foreign ministers to submit specific reform proposals by June 1, 2007. CIS Executive Secretary Vladimir Rushailo said at the same news conference that a "lack of consensus" prevented CIS leaders from issuing a declaration to precede an accord on the definitive demarcation of borders between CIS member states.
CIS Minsk Summit Postponed
Minsk Summit of the CIS state heads scheduled for October 17 has been postponed. A diplomatic source told APA that the Summit will take place in November. The meeting of CIS Foreign Ministers Council will be held on October 16 as planned.
Ukraine Mulls Leaving CIS
Ukrainian presidential adviser Kostyantyn Tymoshenko told journalists in Kyiv on May 5 that the Presidential Secretariat is considering Ukraine's withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), UNIAN reported. Tymoshenko added that the issue is "not very pressing on the agenda." The previous day, Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Anatoliy Kinakh noted that the CIS "has virtually lost its economic sense," according to Interfax-Ukraine. "Hundreds of documents have been adopted within the CIS framework that are not being implemented. In particular, the procedure for forming a free-trade zone has not yet been finished, and the agreement that was signed 10 years ago [on a free-trade zone] has not yet been ratified by the Russian State Duma," Kinakh added.
Uzbekistan to Join Eurasian Economic Community on January
Uzbekistan will be accepted to the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) on 25 January, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry told Interfax.
The report said Uzbekistan would join the organization during the summit of the EurAsEC heads of state in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) is an economic union to form single customers border in territory of member-states. The community includes Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Earlier, Belarusian President and chairman of the EurAsEC Alexander Lukashanko said that Saint Petersburg summit of the EurAsEC leaders would consider application of Uzbekistan.
"Uzbekistan's step toward joining EurAsEC says a lot - primarily that the organisation must by no means be discarded," President Lukashenko said at a meeting on 20 December 2005 with EurAsEC Secretary General Grigory Rapota.
CIS SUMMIT IN KAZAN - 26 AUGUST
Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the CIS Institute, said on 25 August that that the CIS summit in Kazan should take steps to radically reform the organization, adding that any member states that want to leave the commonwealth should do so.
President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov arrived in Kazan on 26 August to participate in the Tatarstan capital's millennium celebrations, RTR, atar.ru, and other Russian media reported. Putin was to preside over a State council meeting devoted to interethnic relations in Russia and to take part in a summit of CIS leaders that is to examine ways to reform the organization, RIA-Novosti and polit.ru reported. On 27 August, Putin is to attend a summit of the four members of the Single Economic Space (SES) -- Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. He is also expected to meet separately with several leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenko, RIA-Novosti reported. VY
Vladimir Zharikhin, deputy director of the CIS Institute, said on 25 August that that the CIS summit in Kazan should take steps to radically reform the organization, adding that any member states that want to leave the commonwealth should do so, TV-Tsentr reported. Zharikhin noted that President Putin said in March that that the CIS was created in an effort to facilitate a "civilized divorce" following the fall of the Soviet Union (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 April 2005). "There are children under this divorce -- the independent states -- and now they are grown and some want to go their own way," Zharikhin said, adding that it is time for Russia to stop paying alimony in the form of cheap energy. Zharikhin also said that CIS member states who want to join NATO and the European Union should be allowed to do so, but they should not expect to benefit from preferred trade status with Russia. However, he added, "I am afraid that nothing like that will happen in Kazan, and the CIS will continue on its current course upon their return." VY xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Building trade partnerships in the CIS region
This paper reviews the current status of trade integration in the CIS, giving details of trade flows and tariff and non-tariff barriers. It also covers other aspects of these FTAs, in particular, technical regulations and standards, rules of origin and commercial dispute settlement. Efforts towards regional integration among the countries of the former Soviet Union began almost at the moment the Federation disintegrated. The countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have since then concluded several agreements, mainly in the form of free trade agreements (FTAs) and customs unions (CUs) at bilateral and plurilateral levels. These agreements have secured a number of important objectives, including, in particular, the successful removal of tariff barriers among many of the most important trading partners.
''Regional Cooperation in Central Asia''
This paper descibes the trace evolution of the key regional groupings and considers their aims and objectives.
''Regional Cooperation in Central Asia''read:http://www.nato.int/docu/colloq/2001/2001-17e.pdf
CIS Summit, 16 September 2004
CIS SUMMIT FOCUSES ON FIGHT AGAINST TERROR... A summit of CIS leaders took place in Astana on 16 September with a focus on antiterrorism efforts in the wake of recent attacks in Russia, news agencies
reported. "The terrorists who have committed crimes against the Russian Federation present an extremely serious danger to all countries of the world without exception," read a joint statement
cited by regnum.ru. "The heads of the CIS member states express their full solidarity with the Russian Federation in its battle against terrorism." The leaders agreed to step up the activities of the CIS Antiterrorism Center, Kazinform reported....... The summit, which was attended by all CIS leaders except Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin and Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov, selected
Putin to replace Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma as CIS chairman. The next summit will take place in Minsk, Belarus in September 2005. DK
...AS KAZAKH PRESIDENT ADVANCES REFORM PROPOSALS... Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev proposed a far-reaching reform of the CIS at the leaders' summit on 16 September, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported. He suggested putting the Council of CIS Foreign Ministers in charge of a special Security Council and delegating executive-organ functions to the CIS Antiterrorism Center and Executive Committee, Kazinform reported. Nazarbaev also urged the elimination of duplicate functions by abolishing the council of defense ministers, the headquarters to coordinate military cooperation, the economic court, and the interstate statistics committee. The CIS Executive Committee's staff should be reduced from 220 to 140 people, he said. Nazarbaev said CIS foreign ministers will review his proposals over the next year. Armenian President Robert Kocharian told the press conference after
the summit that "the main reform of the CIS should be to ensure that the decisions that it makes are carried out," RIA-Novosti reported.
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