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    EURASEC COUNTRIES ACCOUNT FOR OVER A HALF OF RUSSIA'S TOTAL TRADE WITH CIS COUNTRIES

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    ALMA-ATA, February 27 (RIA Novosti correspondent Andrei Malosolov) - EURASEC countries account for over a half of Russia's total trade with CIS countries. Viktor Khristenko, Russia's acting prime minister, made a statement to this effect Friday, at a session of the EURASEC interstate council held in Alma-Ata.

    "Over a year, foreign trade turnover of the EURASEC countries grew by 31.5%, with exports growing by 31% and imports - by 32.3%," Khristenko said.

    In his words, there was a growth in Russia's trade with all EURASEC countries without exception last year. According to the 2003 results, Belarus was second after Germany among Russia's major trading partners, and Kazahstan was in 11th place.

    At the same time, Khristenko pointed out that Belarus accounted for 6.5% of Russia's total foreign trade and Kazakhstan - for 3.3%. "For Russia, integration within the framework of the community is among its major priorities. In connection with the above said, I want to draw your attention to the need to multiply our joint efforts for stepping up the formation of a EURASEC common economic space so as to unite our national markets and promote mutual benefits and common interests of the EURASEC member countries," Khristenko said in conclusion.

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