Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon. Our colleagues entrusted the Moldovan President and myself with informing you about the results of our work, and we are glad to do so.
I would like to start with thanking our Moldovan friends for their hospitality and the warm and friendly atmosphere we saw here. They did their utmost for the smooth operation of the Council of CIS Heads of State. There were no organisational problems. Thank you.
We analysed a wide range of questions during this summit. Streamlining the Commonwealth mechanisms dominated the agenda. We elaborated on a package of measures for the closer monitoring of decision implementation. We also agreed to enhance the role of permanent representatives of the member countries. We hope the measures we agreed upon will make their work more fruitful and help to implement decisions faster and to a greater effect. We also agreed to introduce greater precision into the delineation of duties between the CIS ruling bodies, and to improve the structure of the Commonwealth and its agencies.
We paid special attention to the joint counteraction of the threats we share, and signed a protocol confirming the organisation of joint counter-terrorist measures.
We decided to establish a branch of the CIS Counter-Terrorist Centre in Central Asia. This will be one of the measures to fight the dangers coming from the south—in particular, the skyrocketing increase in drug trafficking. We have also adopted a concept of the joint combat against this evil.
We also approved an inter-state programme of the mutual fight against crime for 2003–2004. The law enforcement alliance has long proved its effectiveness, and we are determined to carry the efforts on.
We also discussed the problems of economic partnership. We confirmed the importance of establishing a free trade zone in the broad CIS format. We fully realise the necessity of taking all partners’ interests into account. With a special feeling, we signed the decision on the preparations for a celebration we shall all share—the 60th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War Two.
All of our decisions are certainly of great importance to our countries and for stepping up integration. Another thing is also of principled importance. We agreed to further enhance the CIS potential. Expert teamwork will by our next meeting prepare the basis for discussing our future decisions. As structural improvement of the CIS was the principal question of this meeting, the Russian delegation proposed to amend the basic documents on the rotation of the CIS ruling bodies. I nominate Ukraine as the CIS chair country. We shall discuss this issue at our next meeting with consideration for, I repeat, and the necessity of relevant amendments of the statutory documents.
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Question: Do the statements you made on September 11 retain force?
Vladimir Putin: I made many statements on September 11. Do you mean the one about Russian relations with Georgia? I hope they will not be implemented if the agreements I made with the Georgian President yesterday are enacted. There are no obstacles for implementing what Mr Shevardnadze and I agreed upon yesterday. This is what I proceed from.
Thank you. Good-bye.