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MOSCOW, April 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has signed a law to ratify a protocol on Uzbekistan’s entering the CIS free trade zone.
The law was approved by the State Duma lower house of parliament on March 21 and passed by the Federation Council upper house of parliament on March 26, the Kremlin website has said.
“The protocol has been worked out by Russia in compliance with a decision taken by the Council of CIS Heads of Government on September 28, 2012 to involve Uzbekistan in cooperation within the CIS and unify trading regimes between Uzbekistan and the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan),” the Kremlin says.
Uzbekistan has become the ninth member to join the treaty, which was signed by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Tajikistan in October 2011. The treaty first came into force between Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in September 2012. The other countries are joining the zone in the order established by the treaty.
The free trade zone area was designed to reduce all trade fees on a number of goods between participating countries. Until now, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan were the only members of the 11-strong union which had not joined the agreement. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have signed the deal but not ratified it yet. CIS leaders first agreed on creating a free trade zone in 1994.