YALTA, September 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has invited other countries to join the free trade zone within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
After Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan united into the Customs Union, trade turnover between these countries has increased by 30 to 40 percent, and the common market has reached 165 million people, he said on Friday at an investment forum in Crimea’s resort city of Yalta. According to the Russian prime minister, the potential CIS countries have gained in the recent years “is rather good.” “All talk about the death of the Commonwealth of Independent States is absolutely groundless,” he stressed.
He expressed satisfaction over the efforts to create a free trade zone. Last year, he recalled, eight CIS countries signed a relevant document in Russia’s St. Petersburg. This document has already been ratified by five of them, namely Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, and Moldova. Medvedev characterized the CIS free trade zone as an “efficient institution of free trade based on principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO).” “We are pleased with it and invite other states to join these processes,” he said in conclusion.