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KIEV, February 13, 23:18 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Ruslan Demchenko on Thursday took part in consultations of representatives of the CIS Foreign Ministries who had gathered in Kiev for the first time in 2014, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry says.
In his speech, he stressed the need to deepen the economic aspect of CIS cooperation and informed his CIS partners of the priorities of Ukraine’s chairmanship of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 2014.
“The meeting focused its attention on how to coordinate interaction, prepare high-level events and expand the CIS contractual and legal foundation in the context of implementing the provisions of the Free Trade Agreement, including a transit agreement by pipeline transport; an agreement for free trade in services and an agreement for gradual cancellation of export duties,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said.
“Other topics for discussion included preparations for the celebrations of the 200th birth anniversary of Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko; the 70th anniversary of Ukraine’s liberation from fascist occupiers and Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945,” Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry went on to say.
Representatives of CIS Foreign Ministries approved the 2014 plan of multi-level consultations of CIS Foreign Ministries. The CIS Council of Ministers is expected to adopt this plan at its meeting on April 4.
In the meantime, a committee for organizing Ukraine’s chairmanship of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 2014 held its first meeting at the Government House in Kiev on Thursday, the cabinet of ministers press service reported.
The meeting discussed the CIS rotating chairmanship which Ukraine took over on January 1. “The strengthening of economic and other forms of cooperation with the countries of the former Soviet Union is of vital national interest for Ukraine which it should meet through existing CIS mechanisms,” the participants in the meeting emphasized.
Ukraine’s acting Prime Minister Sergei Arbuzov has called for exerting every effort to make a free trade agreement for the CIS to start working in full strength.
“In pursuit of this goal, it is necessary to prepare an agreement for transit by pipeline transport, free trade in services, etc,” Arbuzov said.
The organizing committee said at its meeting that 2014 had been declared CIS Year of Tourism and stressed the need to use the CIS potential for implementing Ukraine’s tourist opportunities.