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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Parliaments Set Legal Body

Legislative leaders from Russia and Belarus signed an agreement Thursday to set up an interparliamentary commission as part of a larger treaty creating a closer union between the two countries.

The commission, according to Russian news agencies, will draft legislation for the interparliamentary assembly called for by the treaty, which was signed April 2 by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko.

The treaty calls for closer links between the economies and political systems of the two former Soviet republics. They would remain separate states.

Belarussian parliament leaders were in Moscow this week to meet with Russian counterparts. The agreement Thursday was signed by the chairmen of both Russian chambers, Yegor Stroyev and Gennady Seleznyov, and the chairman of Belarus' Supreme Soviet, Semyon Sharetsky.

Meanwhile, Interfax said an executive committee created by the treaty would meet for the first time Thursday, behind closed doors in Moscow. Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin was to be chairman, the report said.