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Opinions & Interviews

28 Oct 2016

Kobyakov: Minsk has always been at the heart of CIS integration processes

Kobyakov: Minsk has always been at the heart of CIS integration processes

MINSK, 28 October (BelTA) – Minsk has always been and remains at the heart of integration processes in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Prime Minister of Belarus Andrei Kobyakov made the statement during the expanded-participation session of the CIS Heads of Government Council on 28 October, BelTA has learned.

“Minsk has been at the heart of integration processes for 25 years already,” stressed the Prime Minister. “I am convinced that today’s session will add new milestones to the advancement of integration in the Commonwealth of Independent States.”

The Minsk meeting is the first session of the CIS Heads of Government Council after the Bishkek summit of the CIS leaders to confirm the readiness to keep the Commonwealth of Independent States as a full-value regional interstate organization. “The decision to adapt the CIS to modern reality determined the vector of future development of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Now we have to improve the performance of the CIS agencies and minimize their financial upkeep,” noted Andrei Kobyakov.

In his opinion, the CIS agenda can be expanded with the initiatives put forward during the international science and practice conference that was held in Minsk to highlight results and prospects of the Commonwealth of Independent States after 25 years. “The conference worked out proposals to better explore the CIS potential virtually across the board,” added the Prime Minister. “I am sincerely convinced that the work to implement these proposals and other ones will contribute to a stronger CIS stance in the international scene. It will make the Commonwealth of Independent States more flexible and robust.”

Economic cooperation affairs remain in the center of attention of the CIS states. “We have worked out strategies to guide economic development till 2020. Serious tasks have been set. The document covers over 20 areas and includes 290 practical steps,” said Andrei Kobyakov. “Their implementation is designed to enable real conditions for the sustainable development of our economies, for structural changes in various spheres. I am convinced that the rigorous implementation of the strategy will give additional dynamics to the free trade zone agreement.”

On 28 October the heads of government discussed progress in implementing the free trade zone agreement of 18 October 2011 and spoke in positive terms about the implementation results. So far the parties to the agreement have agreed the rules and procedures for regulating government procurement contracts. A document to regulate free trade in services is in the pipeline. The parties honor their commitments with regard to export duties and observe the requirements for applying technical, sanitary, and phytosanitary measures in mutual trade. The agreement stipulates ways to resolve trade disputes. These procedures are regarded as the most effective way to secure mutually beneficial results. The removal of barriers in trade in commodities and services contributes to the development of mutual trade and economic growth of the parties.

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