Prime Minister Mykola Azarov hopes that free trade area within the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States will start to function starting from 2013.

"Currently, five states will soon complete ratification procedures. Thus there is hope that starting from the new year, the Commonwealth member states will approve new trade regime, which holds great promise of free trade within a large economic space, which includes a population of over 200 million people," Azarov told a briefing after the Council of the CIS Heads of Government meeting.
He noted that the creation of free trade area is a very important event for the CIS countries, which they have been expecting for 20 years.

The Prime Minister said that today, the heads of the Commonwealth member states noted that this phase is completed, and now this agreement should be filled with real content.
"It is particularly important to note that at the present time the FTA agreement fully comes into force. Today, the CIS heads of government signed the corresponding declaration," Azarov said.

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