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Almost all CIS presidents have confirmed their participation in an informal summit in Moscow on July 21-22
Almost all CIS presidents have confirmed their participation in an informal summit in Moscow on July 21-22. Participation of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko is still under question, as the political situation inside the country still remains tense. Turkmenistan’s President Saparmurat Niyazon, who is on leave, will not take part. High on the summit’s agenda will be assessment of international situation and the CIS upgrading and reforming. “Russian President Vladimir Putin invited his counterparts to meet in Moscow on July 21-22 to discuss the CIS reform informally ahead of the regular summit in autumn,” presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who currently presides over the CIS, prepared a program document on the CIS reform for the Moscow summit, Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev said. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said he plans to discuss with Putin within the CIS summit’s framework a parliamentary statement on the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers from Georgia. “The Georgian authorities’ final decision on the peacekeepers’ pullout will depend on the talks with our Russian counterpart and quality of our relations. We want to make these relations more intensive than current ones,” he said. Prikhodko confirmed that such meeting would take place. “Saakashvili asked us for such a meeting and we always pay great attention to such requests,” he said. Prikhodko pointed out that “the result of political talks is not an illusion of forward movement or a smoke haze, but real actions, therefore the political leaders should respond for their deeds.” Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin will also attend the summit. On July 19, he said he “was not satisfied with current relations with Russia.” “Most problems the two countries face are concentrated on the Dniester region conflict settlement,” he said. Voronin sees no political undertones in Russia’s gas export price hikes. “Russia is reconsidering its economic policy in the CIS, not only in relation to Moldova, but also to other countries of the CIS increasing gas export prices for them,” he said. As for Russia’s ban on import of Moldovan wines, Voronin expressed the hope that this step “will make Moldova’s winemakers to look for new markets.” The schedule of Voronin’s bilateral meeting is now being coordinated, the Moldovan presidential press service said. Ukraine’s Viktor Yushchenko has not decided on his visit to Moscow yet, his press secretary Irina Grishchenko said. “The CIS informal summit is on the president’s working schedule. He will take a final decision soon proceeding from the country’s political situation,” she said. “The Belarussian delegation led by President Alexander Lukashenko will arrive in Moscow on Friday,” the Belarussian Foreign Ministry’s press secretary, Andrei Popov, told Itar-Tass. “The program of Lukashenko’s visit is now being finalized.” He pointed out that Lukashenko believes that “the CIS has the future and it is necessary to define areas for further cooperation once again.” Azerbaijan’s Ilkham Aliyev is on a short leave, but plans to participate in the summit, the head of the presidential administration’s foreign affairs department, Novruz Mamedov, said. Aliyev will express “his attitude to prospects for cooperation within the CIS framework,” he said. Tajikistan’s Emomali Rakhmonov, who also confirmed his participation in the upcoming summit, believes that “it is too early “to decommission” the CIS.” The presidents of Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are also expected to take part.
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