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|Friday, June 01, 2001, updated at 08:22(GMT+8)|
Five CIS Countries Create Eurasian Economic CommunityBelarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan announced in Belarussian capital Minsk on Thursday to set up the Eurasian Economic Community (EEC) with an aim to boost cooperation between the five member countries, which earlier formed the Customs Five.
"Priority task of the community is to create necessary conditions for further boosting cooperation between the member countries in trade, economic, social, humanitarian and legal spheres with an optimum balance of national and common interests," said a joint statement signed by top leaders of the five countries.
The heads, who gathered in Minsk Thursday for the first session of the Interstate Council of the EEC, expressed confidence that " the EEC activity will be effective and aimed towards integration of the community into the system of world economic ties."
They stressed that "the formation and strengthening of the community will be a weighty stimulus for boosting cooperation within the format of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). "
They also pledged commitment to their earlier agreements aimed at forming a customs union and a single economic space.
The five also said the community "is open to all the countries that share its aims and principles and are ready to undertake necessary commitments and participate in its activity as full members or observers."
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who initiated the creation of the community, was elected as the Chairman of the Interstate Council of the EEC on a one-year rotating basis.
Nazarbayev said the EEC would enable its member countries to broaden their opportunities and to rapidly increase trade within the five-member group.
He believed this process would contribute to developing mutually beneficial cooperation with several international structures, the World Trade Organization above all.
According to Nazarbayev, the EEC will have an Interstate Council, an Integration Committee and an Interparliamentary
Assembly, whose staff will be smaller in comparison with the Customs Five.
He said the presidents and prime ministers of the EEC members would meet once and twice a year, respectively.
The Integration Committee comprising of the Vice-Premiers of the member countries will check the implementation of the documents adopted within the community once in three months.
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