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Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to begin Single Economic Zone in 2005

Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan are to begin creating a single economic zone in 2005. The four parties have compiled a list of 29 priority agreements.

Specifically, these agreements specify tariff quota rules, simplify customs clearance procedures and customs control on internal borders, outline uniform transit terms and rules for determining the country of origin of goods from third countries.

The list will be submitted for consideration at the summit meeting in Astana (Kazakhstan) on September 15.

If the list is signed, agreements will be prepared by January 2005 and signed and ratified before the end of 2005.

The idea of the short-list came from Ukraine, which insisted on the promptest creation of a free trade zone as part of a single economic zone.

This will make it easier for Ukraine to gain access to Russia's attractive market.

(NewsBase 30.viii.04)

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