Belarus, Russia unlikely to sign economic,trade pact before March 1

Minsk, Feb 27 (NNN-BELTA) The Belarusian government says that the probability of signing an agreement develop Belarusian-Russian trade and economic relations by March 1 is quite low as the final formulation of the document has not been co-ordinated yet.

BelTA learnt from a source in the Belarusian government that the inter-governmental Belarusian-Russian agreement on measures to develop trade and economic relations was initialed on Jan 12, 2007 in Moscow and is now being considered by both the parties.

The Belarusian party has no formulation of the agreement approved by the Russian party to conduct negotiations. The Russian party has also failed so far to provide an answer whether it accepts the Belarusian amendments or not.

Therefore it is too optimistic to say that the two countries will complete necessary procedures to sign the document by March 1. It is also noteworthy that since the draft agreement was initialed it has been changed several times. Many paragraphs became outdated as some other legal acts came into force.

In addition, several agreements stipulated by the draft have not been fulfilled. This pertains to the failure to settle the issue on Belarusian sugar supplies to Russia by Feb 15. The two sides are unlikely to solve the problems which were scheduled to be solved by March 1.

Now apart from preparation of the final formulation of the agreement, new terms of settling unsolved problems should be fixed.