Ex-Soviet states agree to set up free trade zone: Putin

18th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Ukraine and other ex-Soviet republics making up the Commonwealth of Independent State have agreed to set up a free trade union.

"After long, tense but ultimately constructive negotiations, we resolved the main issue," Putin said during talks with his CIS counterparts in Russia's second city of Saint Petersburg.

"We have agreed to sign today an agreement on a free trade zone in the CIS," Putin said.

His comments came just hours after Ukraine suffered a blow to its hopes of establishing free trade relations with the European Union when Brussels postponed a key summit over the sentencing of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

© 2011 AFP

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