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THE WEEK AHEAD

MOSCOW : Ex-Soviets Convene

October 18, 1994

Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States meet in Moscow on Friday to discuss whether they want to create new economic ties within their loose grouping of countries. The CIS, formed by Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in December, 1991, as the Soviet Union collapsed, grew to encompass 12 former Soviet republics but has never bound their economies as closely as many leaders would like.

This summer, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, proposed creating a "Eurasian Union" under the CIS umbrella, a body that could coordinate exports and create a "new economic order." The proposed union would also have a Parliament and guarantee freedom of movement among its member countries. The summit is not expected to move quickly on the idea.

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