Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov signed the decree approving the agreement on establishing common free market area for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan and recommended the President to submit it to the State Duma for ratification.
This agreement was signed by the Presidents of these countries in Yalta on September 19, 2003. According to
AK&M’s interpretation of the document, the countries define the notion of “common free market area” as “economic area unifying customs territories of its countries and having common principles of regulating economics which ensure free flow of goods, services, capital and labor, common foreign trade policy (coordinated to the extent of providing fair competition and macroeconomic stability), tax, money-and-credit, monetary and financial policy. The parties of the agreement intend to ensure the development of mutual trade and investments on the basis of international laws and regulations, including WTO regulations, and increasing the competitive power of the countries’ economies.
The countries plan to regulate the following issues by means of the agreement: establishing the free trade zone which has neither constraints no requisitioning and imposes a ban on use of antidumping, compensatory damages and other protective measures on the basis of conducting common policy on tariff and non-tariff regulation, common rules of competition, use of subsidies and other forms of state support, unification of the principles of elaboration and application of technical regulations and standards and sanitary regulations, harmonization of macroeconomic policy, creating the basis for free movement of goods, services, capital and labor, adjusting the legislation of the countries to the common free market area, including trade policy and regulations for competition, establishing common principles for regulating natural monopolies (such as railway transport, telecommunications, lines for delivering power, oil and gas) and proving equal access and tariffs to the natural monopolies services.
Coordinating and operating common free market area on the intergovernmental level will be conducted by the Council of the countries signed the agreement. Every country will have one vote in the Council, and its decisions will be made on the basis of consensus. The countries will establish the common regulating institution for the common free market area and will delegate some their powers to it. The decisions of this institution will be made by voting where each country will have the number of votes according to “its economic potential”, and they will be mandatory for all parties of the agreement.
According to the agreement, the common free market area is going to be established in several stages, and during this process various levels and tempos of integration may be applied. "Every party itself determines its directions of developing integration and the amount of integration measures it undertakes”, the agreement says.
The agreement is open for joining other countries who share its purposes and principles, under the conditions coordinated with all the agreement parties.
The agreement is sine die. Every country is authorized to withdraw from the agreement by sending a written notification to depositary (Kazakhstan) not less than 12 months before the date of withdrawal.
Coming this agreement into force will allow to elaborate international treaties on developing cooperation between the common free market area countries. Implementing the purposes stipulated by the agreement can bring benefits to the Russian economy because of conducting common customs policy and stimulating the development of manufacturing, RBC.ru agency reports.
Source: Information agencies