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Belarus Ratifies Deal On Single Economic Space --> 23 April 2004 -- The Belarusian parliament today ratified the Single Economic Space agreement creating a free-trade zone with Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

Belarus's was the last of the four countries' legislatures to ratify the agreement. The parliament voted 84-2 to approve the treaty.

Belarusian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily Pugachev told parliament that "the agreement strengthens the integration processes in the post-Soviet sphere," but he cautioned that the agreement might not mean barriers between the four countries will be eliminated any time soon.

The presidents of the four countries are scheduled to meet in Kyiv in late May to discuss the free-trade zone.