In an interview for the Chinese and Kazakh press, President Nursultan Nazarbaev described the CIS as “marking time forever, stuck in empty phraseology about integration and incapable of any real political or economic action.” Nazarbaev singled out the failure to create a “common economic space” as evidence of the organization’s irrelevancy. He indicated that Kazakhstan hopes to develop economic cooperation with Central Asian countries as a regional substitute for the CIS. (Xinhua, Zhenmin-zhibao, Kazakhstanskaya Pravda, July 3)
Nazarbaev made these remarks on the eve of a visit to Russia. “Common economic space” in this context usually implies access to the Russian market for noncompetitive exports of Central Asian and other CIS countries. At the same time, these countries–with Kazakhstan as a prime example–give preference to Western investments in their most promising economic sectors and seek to join the international trade system outside the CIS.
LITHUANIAN-POLISH JOINT BATTALION TAKING SHAPE.