#9 - JRL 7005
RUSSIA ACCOUNTS FOR BIGGEST TOTAL NATIONAL INCOME IN THE CIS
MOSCOW, JANUARY 5TH, 2003 (FROM RIA NOVOSTI CORRESPONDENT Olga Lipich) - Russia populated by half of the CIS population accounts today for more than 60 percent of the total national income of the CIS and remains its "decisive chain", said professor Vyacheslav Vashanov, head of the centre for studying CIS economic problems.
According to him, three objective circumstances prompt Russia to actively cooperate with the CIS countries in the economic sphere.
First, the Russian producers need a capacious, practically guaranteed and relatively unassuming market for their products which are so far non-competitive on the world market.
Second, the former Soviet republics, especially Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, have big reserves of unique raw materials. They are, in particular, non-ferrous metals and rare-earth elements (manganese, titanium, chromium, lead, phosphorus, uranium, barium, bismuth, strontium) without which modern production is impossible.
And finally, collaboration with the CIS countries is necessary for the shipment of Russian foreign trade cargoes to third countries. According to Vashanov, Russia uses foreign ports for two-thirds of its sea cargo turnover.
In addition, cooperation with the CIS countries allowed Russia to stabilise the political situation on the territory of the former USSR, promote the interests of the Russian speakers there, preserve by 60-65 percent the production-and-cooperation ties and jobs for 26-30 million Russians.
Vashanov believes that thanks to close ties with the CIS countries, production potential of the Russian military-industrial complex has been preserved to a considerable degree.