Ukraine, Kiev / Тrend corr Z. Novosvitski / There are prospects of economic development within the framework of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova), although these are very remote and directly depend on the degree of political cooperation of the member countries, the Ukrainian Former Economy Minister at the Administration of Yilia Timoshenko, Sergey Terekhin, said.
"There is a little economy in the organization. GUAM is at the level of political formation and self-consciousness," he said.
GUAM was formed by post-Soviet countries in 1997. In 2006, at the first summit of the organization in Kiev the decision to announce GUAM as an international organization with a new name of 'Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM' was made. The second summit of GUAM was held in Baku on 18-19 June, 2007.
According to Terekhin, in order to speak of common transport corridors within the framework of GUAM global comprehension of the situation is necessary. "It is very good that we drew a line linking Azerbaijan with somewhere in Poland or Hungary or Romania. But Russia has the same pencil line as regards to Bulgaria and Romania, or as Germany and Finland. It is very difficult to predict the economic future of the organization," he said. The ex-minister believes that considering GUAM from the viewpoint of some economic blocs the free trade zone has been already established.
"It is impossible to eliminate restrictions of free trade within the framework of GUAM, what we sought in the CIS for lots of years, as these countries have free trade within the framework of CIS. That will lead to quasi-contraband flows," Terekhin noted. He considers the establishment of a common customs regime also to be impossible in theory. Terekhin added that in that case it would be necessary to close borders with other countries. " Azerbaijan, for instance, is unlikely to close or restrict its economic regimes with the Russian Federation," he said.
At the same time, in Terekhin's opinion, one of the main results of the Baku summit is the decision to form peacekeeping forces of GUAM. "That will be of fortifying effect upon policy. When there is a political monolith, it will be possible to speak of the economy. Why did the Common Free Market Zone fail? It did not have political cement," the Ukrainian Ex-Minister summed up.