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Ukraine’s withdrawal from CIS unadvisable — lawmaker

October 09, 2014, 15:14 UTC+3 KIEV

We continue cooperating with the Commonwealth in the framework of the CIS free-trade zone, Ukraine’s Economic Development Minister Valeriy Pyatnitsky says

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KIEV, October 9. /TASS/. Kiev is not discussing the plans unveiled in March to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose alliance of former Soviet states, a member of the Verkhovna Rada Serhiy Hrinevetskiy said on Thursday.

“The Ministry of Economy has concluded that withdrawing from the CIS is unadvisable in regard to Ukraine’s economic interests as the CIS comprises not only Russia. After this, the issue was not being discussed at all,” Hrinevetskiy said.

Ukraine’s Economic Development Minister Valeriy Pyatnitsky confirmed on Thursday that there has been no progress towards the announced plans. “We continue cooperating with the Commonwealth in the framework of the CIS free-trade zone,” he said.

The director of Information Policy Department of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry of Ukraine Yevgen Perebiynis explained, “To launch the process of withdrawing from any international organization, the decision is to be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada. No such decision has been made yet.”

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry failed to confirm that President Petro Poroshenko is due to attend the meeting of the CIS heads of states in the Belarusian capital Minsk on October 10.

“The decision on Ukraine’s participation in the session of the council of the CIS heads of states has not been made yet,” Perebiynis said Wednesday. Ukraine’s ambassador to Belarus is to attend the session of the CIS Foreign Ministers Council, he added.

A draft bill on Ukraine's withdrawal from the CIS was submitted to the country’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in late March. Since then, no instructions have been made to launch the procedure.

The agreement to establish the CIS was signed by Russia, Belarus and Ukraine on December 8, 1991. At the moment the CIS unites Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. Belarus took over the CIS presidency this year when Ukraine last spring refused to perform the functions of the CIS president.

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