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ARMENIA PROPOSES EASING FREE EXPORT REGIME WITH RUSSIA

YEREVAN, February 20 (RIA Novosti) – In 2005, Armenia plans to introduce amendments to the agreement on free trade with Russia, announced head of the department for trade and services under the Armenian Ministry of Trade and Economic Development Gagik Kocharyan.

“We propose lifting the procedures of making lists of goods subject to the free trade regime, and also lift the limitations on the re-export of goods from Russia, as many CIS countries do,” Mr. Kocharyan stated.

In addition, he said that the changes would be made to an article in the agreement that differentiates the regimes of bilateral trade for state and private sectors. In accordance with the agreement signed in 1993, the state-controlled trade enjoys the most preferred status compared with trade in the private sector. Mr. Kocharyan proposes applying the same regime for both sectors.

He announced that all issues would be discussed during the next meeting of the Armenian-Russian intergovernmental committee on economic cooperation scheduled for the summer 2005.

“I think that our proposals will not cause a lot of discussions or controversy, and will be passed without difficulties,” Mr. Kocharyan believes.

According to the Armenian National Statistics Service, the volume of trade turnover between Armenia and Russia in 2004 dropped by 10.6% to $266.2 million.

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