00:27 GMT +3 hours27 November 2014
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Uzbekistan to Join Free Trade Zone by Yearend

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Uzbekistan will join a CIS free trade zone by the end of this year, CIS steering committee head Sergei Lebedev said on Friday at a CIS heads of government meeting in the Crimean city of Yalta.

Uzbekistan will join a CIS free trade zone by the end of this year, CIS steering committee head Sergei Lebedev said on Friday at a CIS heads of government meeting in the Crimean city of Yalta.

"The decision has been made that Uzbekistan will become the ninth participant in the free trade zone by the end of the year," Lebedev said, summing up the first stage of the congress.

The CIS free trade zone agreement was signed on October 18, 2011 by eight nations including Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan said they wished to discuss some issues further before joining.

Moldova ratified the agreement on Thursday. Five other nations (Armenia, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine) have already ratified the deal.

The agreement is designed to guarantee conditions for free trade in the CIS space and create favorable conditions for further economic integration on the basis of WTO norms. It replaces previously existing bilateral and multilateral agreements on free trade between the member states.