Russia welcomes Ukraine's ratification of the agreement on free trade area within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and looks forward to early ratification by other countries, the first deputy Prime Minister Ihor Shuvalov announced.

"In October of the last year, the heads of government signed the agreement. This agreement was developed during several years, and it was very hard work. The CIS did not have a general agreement, the economic and trade relations were mainly regulated by bilateral agreements. The new agreement is entirely different stage in the formation of economic integration in the former Soviet Union. Before this agreement comes in force, we need three ratifications. And we start living under this agreement with its ratification by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine," Shuvalov said.

He believes that the ratification was achieved due to the dialogue between Russian and Ukrainian leaders.

"The ratification would unlikely be held without regular high-level contacts," the first deputy prime minister said.

"We hope that the ratification by all other states signed this agreement will occur as soon as possible. In particular, we look forward to early ratification by the Republic of Kazakhstan," he said.

Answering a question on the Customs Union, the first deputy prime minister stressed that this is another issue.

"We shouldn’t mix the free trade area of the CIS with the formation of Single Economic Space, but, of course, our trade and economic relations will develop faster and more free," Shuvalov said.


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