The Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CACO) -- a grouping of Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan -- will merge with the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec), a body seeking to establish a single economic zone comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan Tajikistan, and Belarus. Such was the decision taken by CACO leaders at a summit in St. Petersburg October 6.
The Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CACO) was born in 1994 as the "Central Asian Economic Community."
It adopted its current name in 2002 to stress that cooperation had extended to political and security matters.
The CACO, however, will soon become a thing of the past. It will be merged into the Eurasec, set up in 2000 to promote the economic integration of former Soviet republics into a single, free-trade, economic zone.
The decision was announced October 6 by the five CACO leaders at a meeting in Russia's northern city of St. Petersburg.
President Vladimir Putin told a news conference after the meeting that Belarus President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who holds the Eurasec presidency, had formally approved the decision by telephone.
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