Politics: Russia Signs Trade Agreement

Russia has signed a free-trade deal with 7 other former Soviet republics.

Russia has signed a free-trade deal with 7 other former Soviet republics.

Russia has recently signed a free trade agreement, along with seven other former members of the Soviet Union.

The agreement is set to scrap import and export tariffs on a variety of goods.

St. Petersburg talks

The agreement was announced after the countries got together for a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Other countries that signed the trade agreement after the St. Petersburg negotiations include Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Tajikistan.

Despite the high level of publicity surrounding the free trade deal, the countries have not yet released details of which goods will be included in the arrangement.

There is also no word on what this means for the countries politically, or whether we can expect closer co-operation between these countries in other ways, such as with immigration laws.

‘More competitive’

Though the countries have laid their signatures on the deal, it is understood that the arrangements must be ratified by the parliaments of all eight countries who have signed up. Once this takes place, the policy should become effective in 2012.

Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Prime Minister, said that the free trade agreement would serve to make the economies of all countries involved “more competitive.”

In addition, analysts mention that Ukraine’s involvement in the treaty is significant, as the country has previously sought trade ties with the European Union. However, the current President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, is perceived as being much more pro-Russian than the previous Ukrainian leader.

Last week, the former prime minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko was sentenced to prison for 7 years as a result of overstepping her power limitations in a 2009 energy deal.

Though the European Union says that this trial was politically motivated as opposed to justice oriented, officials in Kiev deny these rumors.

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