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Pre-Summit Meeting of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan

Moscow, May 16 (RFE/RL) - Leaders of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan meet in Moscow today, on the eve of a CIS summit. In March, The four signed an integration agreement, and yesterday in Moscow there was a first meeting of a joint Committee on implementing the agreement. Yesterday's meeting focused on economic and humanitarian issues.

The Committee is chaired by Kazakhstan's First Deputy Prime Minister Nigmadzhan Isingarin. The meeting was attended by Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Bolshakov and Economics Minister Yevgeny Yasin. Coordinating bodies for the agreement will be based in Moscow, and financed in equal parts by the four states.

CIS Executive Secretary Ivan Korotchenya of Belarus has told Interfax news agency that tomorrow's summit will express support for the continuation of democratic processes and reforms in Russia, and adopt a statement on the political situation in Russia prior to next month's presidential election.

The statement is co-sponsored by leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The action was first proposed in March, as Russia's State Duma passed resolutions denouncing the agreement that established the CIS, and the disunion of the USSR. There were proposals, at the time, for calling an emergency CIS summit to condemn the Duma's action.