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Lukashenka Promotes Post-Soviet Common Market

Kyiv, 9 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka pushed today for implementation of a common market between Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan. In talks with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma in Kyiv, Lukashenka stressed the common market would increase regional prosperity and he urged Kyiv to cooperate both with the EU and Russia to achieve the goal.

The presidents of the four countries agreed to the deal on free movement of goods, capital and labor as well as common tariffs and customs policies at meeting last month.

European Commission President Romano Prodi said earlier this week the pact wouldn't prevent Ukraine from eventually joining the EU. Kuchma and Lukashenka also discussed boosting bilateral trade and border controls during the Belarusian leader's one-day visit.