The CIS summit held in Chisinau confirmed the common approaches of the Commonwealth countries to the problem of terrorism and crime, chairman of the international affairs committee of the Federation Council Mikhail Margelov told RIA Novosti.
He pointed out that Russia "as a key participant in the anti-terror coalition plays a tangible and mobilizing role with respect to its CIS partners." He also stated that the summit approved the programme of joint measures for 2003-2004 as well as the concept of cooperation in combating illegal drug trafficking. In addition, organisational measures were endorsed for creating a branch of the anti-terror centre for Central Asia in Bishkek.
Russia, Margelov said, "used the summit to deepen collaboration with the participants of the Collective Security Treaty" - the Charter and Agreement on the Legal Status of this organisation have been signed.
The senator also stressed that "the programme of improving cooperation in the border sphere, which stipulates collaboration in protecting the state borders, conducting joint exercises of troops and departments involved in the guarding of the adjoining border sections of the CIS countries, is important for Russia, taking into account the well-known priorities concerning the defence of our borders, especially the southern ones. The programme was improved in Chisinau.
While speaking about the creation of a Russian-Ukrainian gas consortium which will work on a parity basis in the course of 30 years, Margelov said "this is an important long-term decision which will undoubtedly be welcomed in Europe since it will contribute to deepening the energy dialogue with the European Union." The senator is convinced that precisely Russia should "play an ever greater role as a CIS driving force." However, he believes, this "will fully depend on the development of its own economic potential." This is why, Margelov pointed out, "we attach great importance to measures for completing the fulfilment of domestic procedures for the agreement on creating a free trade zone and accompanying documents to come into force." Margelov stated that Russia does not look at its closest neighbours only through the prism of nostalgic reminiscences about the common Soviet past. Every country has its own history and interests, he said. "But there are many factors which unite us, from the Russian language and ties between relatives to common approaches to the problems of economic cooperation and security, and it is impossible to ignore them," Margelov pointed out.
The senator also believes that Russia is interested more than everybody else in the political and economic stability of its neighbours. For their part, they need a strong and confident Russia, and the CIS summit in Chisinau confirmed this."