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Russia: Preparations Underway For CIS Meeting Later This Week

Moscow, 14 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - Preparations are underway for a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in Moscow later this week.

A meeting of CIS foreign ministers is scheduled for Thursday, followed by a session of Commonwealth prime ministers on Friday.

A gathering of CIS heads of state has been postponed until sometime later this month, reportedly because of Russian President Boris Yeltsin's renewed health problems. Yeltsin has been in the hospital for nearly a week suffering from pneumonia.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, who is currently on holiday outside Moscow, will chair Friday's session. Chernomyrdin's press secretary Viktor Konnov said today that the CIS prime ministers will focus their talks on a plan for developing economic integration of Commonwealth states.

A spokesman for Ukraine's Foreign Ministry, Vladimir Yatsenkovsky, said today that Kyiv's delegation will be headed by Prime Minister Pavel Lazarenko. The spokesman said the Ukrainian delegation will concentrate on plans to cooperate on energy issues, including the safety of nuclear power stations.