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KIEV, November 10 (Itar-Tass) — The Ukrainian government has submitted a free trade agreement with the CIS member countries to the Ukrainian parliament for ratification.
“The creation of a free trade zone within the CIS space and its further functioning is the top priority for the Commonwealth of Independent States. The CIS strategy provides for economic development of the free trade zone up to 2020,” the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Economic Development said on Wednesday.
Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov stressed the need to ratify the free trade agreement with the CIS as soon as possible. “It’s vitally important in conditions of worsening economic crisis,” the Ukrainian prime minister said.
“The agreement opens up big opportunities for the Ukrainian economy. This is extremely important for us in conditions of serious aggravation of the global financial and economic situation,” Azarov emphasized.
The government expects that the free trade agreement with the CIS states that was signed in St. Petersburg on October 18 will bring additional 1.2 billion dollars worth of revenues to Ukraine’s state budget in 2012. Additional growth of GDP is predicted to be 2.2 percent (3.8 billion dollars).
In the meantime, the Ukrainian opposition demanded that a criminal lawsuit be filed against Azarov. They accused the prime minister of violating the country’s constitution and the law on the cabinet of ministers when he was signing the free trade agreement with the CIS states.
It took the sides three years to work out the agreement. Fourteen rounds of negotiations were held.