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President Vladimir Putin held bilateral meetings with the CIS heads of state

June 1, 2001, Minsk

In the first half of the day, President Vladimir Putin met with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

During a meeting with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, the two leaders discussed bilateral trade and economic cooperation, including the exploration of energy sources in the Caspian Region.

The heads of state praised the results of the first meeting of the Eurasian Economic Community’s Intergovernmental Council. Mr Putin congratulated Mr Nazarbayev on his inauguration as the council’s chairman.

During the meeting with Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, the leaders discussed issues related to Russian-Moldovan cooperation and ways to settle the Transdnestr problem.

In the evening, after the meeting of the CIS leaders’ Council, Mr Putin met with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze. The two men discussed issues of bilateral cooperation and paid special attention to the development of economic relations. Mr Putin emphasised that Russia was abiding by the agreements in the energy sphere and the restructuring of debt, which was crucial for Georgia.

The two leaders also discussed issues related to Russian military bases in Georgia. They pointed out that the agreements on Russian military bases, reached in Istanbul, were being fulfilled. Russian bases in Gudauta and Vaziani will be withdrawn this summer. Talks on the terms of operation of the bases in Akhalkalaki and Batumi were continued by mutual consent. The Russian party expressed readiness to increase efforts for the settlement of the Abkhazian conflict.

Mr Putin and Armenian President Robert Kocharian discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation and the Karabakh conflict.

June 1, 2001, Minsk