Belarus President partakes in informal session of CIS Council of Heads of State

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko took part in the informal session of the CIS Council of Heads of State in Moscow on 15 May. The summit focused on future cooperation within the CIS framework as well as topical international matters.

    Since it is an informal meeting there is no clearly regulated agenda of the day. The heads of state are expected to share views on key aspects of the operation and development of the Commonwealth of Independent States, prospects of further expansion of multidimensional cooperation within the CIS framework.

    The presidents paid considerable attention to the enhancement of economic integration processes in the Commonwealth. In October 2011 the CIS states adopted a new free trade zone treaty to replace a range of multilateral and bilateral agreements. The document is designed to give an impetus to the development of trade and economic relations. In essence it will share a common tariff and customs policy, removing existing trade barriers. According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, Belarus views trade and economic cooperation as a priority for the CIS.

    President of Russia Vladimir Putin, in turn, hailed solid ties uniting all CIS member-states. “Without each other we will not be able to function and develop efficiently,” Vladimir Putin stressed.

    The next session of the CIS Heads of State Council may take place in Ashgabat in November, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov President of Turkmenistan, the country presiding in the CIS this year, put forward this proposal at the informal meeting on 15 May.

    Moreover, Aleksandr Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin have agreed that the Russian head of state will pay his first visit to Belarus as President on 31 May.