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    MOSCOW, January 3rd, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - The CIS has asserted itself as an organisation, Yuri Yarov, Executive Secretary of the CIS and Chairman of the Executive Committee, said in a RIA Novosti interview on Saturday.

    "CIS processes are sometimes referred to as 'slow-moving', Yarov noted. "It is true, but the main word here is 'moving', he added.

    "This testifies that the processes are laminar. It would have been worse if they had been turbulent. In this case, the CIS would have consisted of six rather than 12 nations, like the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (ODKB) (including Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan)," said Yarov.

    In his opinion, every organisation formed on the CIS territory has the right to exist. However, integration should not be sped up, Yarov believes. Otherwise, 12 nations will not be united. "This will lead to any other confederation, but not that of 12. This is something to keep in mind," noted the Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee.

    In his words, when countries want to unite as soon as possible, they form a union state (like Russia and Belarus).

    "Though this union is still facing serious obstacles. It is yet unclear what will come out of the four nations seeking to form a common economic space (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine)," said Yarov.

    He also emphasised that the CIS was not against any other unions. "They are not our rivals at all. The better they do, the better we will. We could offer their experience to other CIS nations," Yarov continued.

    "The CIS is still there, as it was vitally important for our countries in the wake of the USSR disintegration," he concluded.

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