Azarov: Free trade agreement sets deadlines for elimination of exceptions

2011-10-19 11:20:47

While the CIS free trade zone agreement signed in St. Petersburg on Tuesday is imperfect, it sets concrete deadlines for eliminating all exceptions to the free trade rules across the Commonwealth, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said.

"Is this agreement perfect? Of course, not, it is imperfect, it contains exceptions. But name me at least one agreement that does not have ones," Azarov told a press conference in St. Petersburg after a meeting of the CIS heads of government.

The most important thing is that the agreement "lays down a specific timeframe, a time period, during which all these exceptions will be eliminated," he said.

"A free trade zone means that we lift export and import duties on whole groups of goods," Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said. "Certain exceptions are in fact there, but they will gradually remain in the past," the Russian premier said.

The creation of the free trade zone means that, "we are mutually broadening our markets, that goods will come to our markets at lower prices, that conditions are being created for cooperative production, and all this together raises the competitive advantages of our economies," Putin said.