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Kazakhstan: Deepening Integration Of CIS States To Be Discussed

Almaty, 18 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Apart from the Commonwealth of Independent States' (CIS) heads-of-government meeting in Moscow today, Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Akejan Kajegeldin is expected to participate in a separate meeting on the customs union among Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Our Almaty correspondent reports deepening integration among the four CIS states is expected to be discussed. Kajegeldin is also scheduled to hold a private meeting with Russia's Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin.

Construction Of Almaty Metro In Jeopardy

The construction of Almaty's subway system is in jeopardy, because of a shortage of money.

Construction began eight years ago, and it was planned that the system would start operation in 1997. Contractors say they need more money for the project, after most of the available funds were used to pay back wages to workers.

Contractors say they cannot stop the excavation process because of the danger that tunnels might collapse or that seeping groundwater will fill the tunnels. A special tender was held for foreign construction companies, and a Turkish firm and a Canadian firm are expected to join the project in November, bringing new technology and equipment. But our Almaty correspondent reports the final completion date for the subway is expected to be delayed up to five years.