Moscow, Oct 7 (EFE).- Russian president Vladimir Putin on Friday called on his counterparts from members of the Commonwealth of Independent States to work on ways to resolve conflicts that arise between countries in the post-Soviet sphere, describing the war in Ukraine as “really tragic”.
“Apart from Ukraine, where tragic events are indeed taking place, unfortunately conflicts sometimes arise between other close states of the post-Soviet space as well,” Putin said at the beginning of an informal CIS summit in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second city.
This situation, he stressed, “of course requires the elaboration of measures to resolve” these conflicts.
“It is important to exchange views on the progress of our cooperation in the field of combating terrorism, crime, drug trafficking and corruption,” he said.
Putin, who turned 70 on Friday, thanked the CIS leaders for attending the meeting in St. Petersburg, which only Kyrgyzstan’s president Sadir Zhaparov did not attend.
“At this meeting, of course, and at the Astana summit (next week), we will give priority attention to the development of trade and investment partnership within the framework of the CIS,” he said.
Putin stressed that the increase in trade between CIS countries would allow a “more vigorous transition” to payments in national currencies.
“In fact, this is what we have been doing for many years, and this is not linked to any political circumstances,” he added.
The Russian president said the move to payments in national currencies “will help strengthen the financial sovereignty” of CIS countries.
“Last year the trade exchange between Russia and CIS countries increased by 30%, to $96 billion, and in the first half of this year – by another 7%,” he said.
The meeting convened by Putin in the former Tsarist capital was attended by the prime minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinian, and the presidents of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev; Belarus, Alexandr Lukashenko; Kazakhstan, Kasim-Yomart Tokayev; Tajikistan, Emomali Rakhmon; Turkmenistan, Serdar Berdimukhamedov, and Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev. EFE