YEREVAN, September 28. / ARKA /. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said hopes are high that the new free trade area (FTA) will start to function between CIS countries next year.
"Five states have already ratified the FTA agreement. And the leaders of another three countries have told us today that they will finalize the ratification procedures in the near future. There is hope that an absolutely new trade regime will be established between Commonwealth countries next year, opening up new prospects for free trade within this vast space," he told journalists after a session of the CIS Prime Ministers Council in Ukrainian Yalta on Friday. It is important to give a practical agenda to this project, Azarov said. The CIS FTA agreement has already been ratified by Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova and Armenia.
Azarov also said that the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) have the necessary potential and political will to create an effective free trade area (FTA) within the commonwealth.
"The adoption of the FTA agreement opens up new opportunities for our countries, as the document is the starting point for the development of trade and economic relations between our countries at an absolutely new level and on a new legal basis," he said.
Azarov said the provisions of the FTA agreement with the CIS should be implemented and developed gradually. "I think that we have necessary potential and political will for the realization of our ambitious plans," the Ukrainian PM said. Azarov added that cooperation within the CIS is one of the priority directions of Ukraine's foreign policy.
The prime ministers of all CIS countries except Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan signed the treaty on Oct. 18, 2011.-0-