On 11 July 2011, Russia ratified two treaties and one protocol on unifying certain legislation of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia as part of strengthening and improving the Common Free Market Zone (the "Common Zone").

The first treaty concerns establishing and instituting common principles and general rules to regulate the activities of natural monopoly entities. The goal is to allow them the opportunity to implement their services as well as manage and develop them efficiently. Specifically, the treaty provides for the types of activities and the methods of regulating the activities of the stated entities, as well as the rules for providing access to their services.

The second treaty relates to the protection and defence of intellectual property rights. The foundation of the principle is non-discrimination and offering all rights on a reciprocal basis. The treaty establishes the regional principle of eliminating the exclusive rights to a trademark, whose goals are (i) to provide for the free turnover of trademark-protected goods between the Common Zone countries; and (ii) to establish an efficient means to observe the intellectual property rights of the national copyright holders when goods are imported. The minimum timeframes are also set for protecting intellectual property.

In addition, the second treaty stipulates setting up a Coordination Council of the Common Zone on intellectual property in order to coordinate and provide information and technical cooperation to protect and defend intellectual property on a constant basis.

In turn, the ratified protocol sets the procedure for providing information to the body that is responsible for special protective, anti-dumping and compensatory investigations and measures.

Consequently, the establishment of the Common Zone continues. In addition to unifying legislation, the member countries are gradually setting up new super-national institutions.

[Federal Law No. 183-FZ "On Ratifying the Treaty on Uniform Principles and Rules to Regulate the Activities of Natural Monopoly Entities", dated 11 July 2011; Federal Law No. 179-FZ "On Ratifying the Treaty on Uniform Principles to Protect and Defend Intellectual Property Rights", dated 11 July 2011; Federal Law No. 180-FZ "On Ratifying the Protocol of the Procedure to Provide Information, Including Confidential Information, to Investigators for Investigative Purposes, Forgoing the Introduction of Special Defensive, Anti-dumping and Compensatory Measures for Third Countries", dated 11 July 2011]