KIEV, January 01, 14:42 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine took over presidency in the CIS from Belarus on January 1. Ukraine was supposed to take of the chairing role in 2013, but that year the country chaired the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and thus in May 2012 Kiev asked to shift its turn for chairing the CIS to the current year.
Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich stressed many times that during the presidency in the CIS Ukraine would apply every effort for the continuous development of the Commonwealth and for improvement of mutually advantageous cooperation in the national interests of every country.
“A priority of our presidency in the CIS will be the work towards signing agreements on pipe transit, trade of services, protocol on gradual lifting of export duties,” he said during the 6th meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission in Moscow on December 17.
During the Minsk CIS summit on October 24-25, he said among priorities of Ukraine’s presidency would be further development of the CIS trade and economic cooperation, which should be based on provisions of the agreement on a free trade zone and the WTO principles, as well as cooperation in transport of energy resources, in reliable supplies, and in common approaches to the market of energy resources.
“Ukraine plans to pay special attention to the cultural and humanitarian cooperation, to further development of the Commonwealth as a universal platform for inter-cultural and humanitarian cooperation,” Yanukovich said. As 2014’s motto is development of tourism in the Commonwealth, the president said Ukraine would organise in Ukraine a Kiev international tourism forum and will host a meeting of the CIS tourism council.
Ukraine’s president also suggested organising in Kiev in October a meeting of the CIS countries’ presidents in conjunction with the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Ukraine from Fascist invaders.