Prague, March 9 (CTK) – The Czech Senate approved smoothly the strategic partnership agreement between the EU and Canada that defines a joint struggle against terrorism, money laundering and proliferation of the arms of mass destruction on Thursday.

The upper house will debate the associated Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), that removes most duties and fees between the EU and Canada as of next year, at its next session.

Both agreements were endorsed by the European Parliament in February.

Czech Chamber of Deputies has only supported the former in the first out of the two rounds of the approval process. It has not finished the initial discussion of the agreement.

The strategic partnership agreement includes the two parties’ commitment to help limit the arms of mass destruction. They will apply the system of control of the exports of goods connected with the arms.

Both sides will also regularly exchange information on the lists of terrorists and help other countries prevent and uncover terrorism.

Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD) has denoted the agreement as a “forerunner” of CETA that is to help Czech businesses on the Canadian market.

The EU estimates that preliminarily CETA may start to be valid in the spring.

It hopes that its trade volume will increase by up to 12 billion euros annually.