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    CIS leaders agree to form body controlling migration - Putin

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    The leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) agreed to set up a special body overseeing migration processes on the post-Soviet area, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

    DUSHANBE, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - The leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) agreed to set up a special body overseeing migration processes on the post-Soviet area, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday.

    "It is clear that this is a rather sensitive issue for practically all CIS member states, including Russia. We reached an agreement to create a special body on coordinating views on this issue," Putin said.

    He added that the leaders of the CIS states adopted a concept of further development of the regional 11-member bloc and the agenda of concrete activities.

    "We agreed that once in a year we will choose one major topic and will focus on it. This year we agreed to work on the issue of migration," Putin said.

    In January, Russia toughened its migration policy, reducing to 40% of the total workforce the number of migrants allowed to work in markets.

    As of April 1, 2007, migrants have been banned from working in markets entirely, a move designed to bring order to the sector and curb a wave of ethnically motivated crimes in the country.

    Speaking on the results of the CIS, the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summits held in Tajikistan's capital of Dushanbe, the Russian leader said they were the most fruitful and effective in the recent years.

    Earlier in the day Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed a package of agreements on the legal basis of the Customs Union, including the formation of a customs union commission, a common customs area, and the order of membership.

    The participants also agreed to hold next Eurasec and CSTO summits in Moscow under Tajik and Armenian presidencies respectively.

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