MINSK, October 10. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived on Friday in the Belarusian capital Minsk to attend summits of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.
The annual CIS summit will bring together practically all leaders of the Commonwealth’s member states except Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Ukrainian Ambassador to Belarus Mykhailo Yezhel is representing Kiev at the CIS summit in Minsk.
The agenda of the CIS summit “encompasses cooperation in the economic sphere and law enforcement. A number of documents have been prepared for approval. They are geared to deepen multi-faceted interaction, strengthen the international system of drug control resistance, step up the struggle against illegal migration and enhance financial control,” said Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov.
Ushakov forecasts that the leaders will declare 2016 as Education Year in the CIS and also launch an inter-state program Cultural Capitals of the Commonwealth. The two cities selected for the program are Russia’s Voronezh and Tajikistan’s Kulob. “It is expected that the heads of state will issue a joint appeal to the peoples of the CIS and the world public in connection with the 70th anniversary of Victory in the 1941-1945 Great Patriotic War,” Ushakov said.
The Eurasian Economic Community of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be formally liquidated on Friday after 14 years of work, Ushakov told reporters. The five leaders’ meeting in Minsk will be the last in the format of this organization, he said, adding that the EurAsEC was to be disbanded in connection with the start of operation of the Eurasian Economic Union on January 1, 2015. The five presidents will sign in Minsk an agreement on the EurAsEC activity cessation.
The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will discuss current issues of trade in goods and services, movement of capitals and labor forces and financial, organizational and technical aspects in connection with the beginning of functioning of the Eurasian Economic Union from January 1, 2015, the Kremlin press service said.
There are plans to sign an agreement on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union to make the country a full-fledged member of the union from January 1, 2015, Ushakov said, adding that participants in the meeting will also “analyze fulfilment of a roadmap for Kyrgyzstan’s accession to the Customs Union.” The Kremlin official said the roadmap was to be “supplemented with a new document — the program of measures for adapting the Kyrgyz legislation to the common economic space requirements.”
“The leaders will consider issues of the union’s interaction with foreign partners, since a number of countries have displayed not a formal but a practical interest in broader cooperation with the union,” Ushakov said. “The negotiations on the free trade zone creation with Vietnam are at the advanced stage, and expert groups for the preparation of similar agreements with Israel, India and Egypt have been formed,” he added. “This work is gaining momentum,” the official said.