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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kiev Puts Off Common Market Vote

KIEV -- The Ukrainian parliament postponed a decision on establishing a common market with Russia, Kazhakhstan and Belarus on Tuesday, putting the matter off until the day before the accord was due to be signed during this week's Commonwealth of Independent States summit.

Lawmakers voted to hold off on a decision until Thursday after they had listened to the Cabinet's information about possible geopolitical and socio-economic consequences that might arise if a common economic space is created between the countries.

Leaders from the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose alliance of former Soviet republics, are scheduled to meet Friday in the Ukrainian Black Sea resort of Yalta, and the anticipated signing of the pact topped the meeting's agenda.

Some fear that Ukraine's participation in a CIS common market will set back the country's hopes of integrating into European structures. Others worry that it will threaten national interests.

Foreign Minister Kostiantyn Gryshchenko said the agreement should be signed "with reservations."

He emphasized that "reconstruction of broken economic relations" should not mean "reconstruction of the collapsed union state."

Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine agreed in February to create a common market and targeted September for a conclusion of the deal that envisions common tax, customs, tariff and energy transportation systems.