The President of Russia met with leaders of Kazahkstan and Ukraine and paid special attention to relations with Uzbekistan.
Despite the fact that Belarus takes over the CIS chairmanship on January 1, 2013, the media covering the event almost don't talk about Alyaksandr Lukashenka who attends the summit, AFN news agency reports.
At a meeting in narrow format, Putin promised to protect the interests of the CIS member states at the forthcoming G8 and G20 summits. He turned special attention to integration aspirations of Uzbekistan.
“We welcome the desire expressed by the Uzbek leadership to join the CIS free trade zone. We will facilitate this decision in every possible way. I would like to call on all our colleagues to take the same position and back Uzbekistan,” Putin said.
He also expressed a hope that Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan would soon join the free trade area.
“We have two countries left, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, but we are maintaining contacts with out colleagues. As far as I understand, we have only technical issues. The work is running smoothly,” the Russian president noted.
Putin talked to the president of Ukraine after the meeting and invited Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev to talks.
“President of Russia Vladimir Putin held talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych and plans to hold one-on-one talks after the extended meeting of the council of the CIS heads of state,” Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
According to him, Putin had a detailed dialogue with Yanukovych. Later president of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev joined the talks.
The media recalled Lukashenka only because he said at the extended meeting that Yunukovych had invited the CIS leaders to visit the construction site of the new shelter for the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Lukashenka and Yanukovych discussed the Chernobyl issue during their bilateral meeting.