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Uzbekistan might join CIS free trade zone in May 2013

MINSK, 29 January (BelTA) – Uzbekistan might join the free trade zone of the Commonwealth of Independent States by the end of May 2013, Director of the First Department of the CIS States of the Russian Foreign Ministry told reporters on 29 January before the start of ministerial consultations in the CIS Executive Committee, BelTA has learnt.

A session of the CIS Council of Heads of Government will take place in Minsk on 31 May. “Maybe, by that time Uzbekistan will have joined the CIS free trade zone,” Mikhail Yevdokimov said.

In his words, it is also possible that all the countries that signed the Free Trade Zone Agreement will ratify it by the mid 2013. The signatories include Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Some of the countries have not ratified the document yet, but the ratification procedure is nearing completion, the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry informed. “The agreement will benefit all the countries, because the mutual trade is increasing, so are taxes; therefore, the countries are getting more resources to pay pensions. It is in the interests of all the CIS member states and our citizens,” Mikhail Yevdokimov said.

Top on the agenda of the ministerial consultations in the CIS Executive Committee will be cooperation between the CIS member states, enforcement of the Free Trade Zone Agreement, celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War.

The participants of the consultations plan to discuss preparation for the session of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers that will be held in Tashkent on 5 April and the draft plan of the CIS multi-level ministerial consultations for 2013.