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The Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS)[3] is a regional intergovernmental organization of ten post-Soviet republics in Eurasia formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It has an area of 20,368,759 km² (8,097,484 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 239,796,010. The CIS encourages cooperation in economical, political and military affairs and has certain powers to coordinate trade, finance, lawmaking and security. It has also promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention. The CIS has its origins in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(USSR), which in turn replaced the old Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in 1917 when it was established by the 1922 Treaty
Treaty
and Declaration of the Creation of the USSR by the Russian SFSR, Byelorussian SSR
Byelorussian SSR
and Ukrainian SSR. When the USSR began to fall in 1991, the founding republics signed the Belavezha Accords
Belavezha Accords
on 8 December 1991, declaring that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
would cease to exist and proclaimed the CIS in its place. A few days later the Alma-Ata Protocol was signed, which declared that Soviet Union
Soviet Union
was dissolved and that the Russian Federation
Russian Federation
was to be its successor state. The Baltic states
Baltic states
(Estonia, Latvia
Latvia
and Lithuania), which regard their membership in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
as an illegal occupation, chose not to participate. Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008. Ukraine, which participated as an associate member, ended its participation in CIS statutory bodies on 19 May 2018.[3] Eight of the nine CIS member states participate in the CIS Free Trade Area. Three organizations are under the overview of the CIS, namely the Collective Security Treaty
Treaty
Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union (alongside subdivisions, the Eurasian Customs Union
Eurasian Customs Union
and the Eurasian Economic Space, which comprises territory inhabited by over 180 million people); and the Union State. While the first and the second are military and economic alliances, the third aims to reach a supranational union of Russia
Russia
and Belarus
Belarus
with a common government, flag, currency and so on.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Background 1.2 Belavezha Accords
Belavezha Accords
and Alma-Ata Protocol
Alma-Ata Protocol
(1991–1993) 1.3 CIS Charter (1993 to present)

2 Membership

2.1 Member states 2.2 Parties of the Creation Agreement 2.3 Former member state 2.4 Former participating non-member state

3 Politics

3.1 Executive Secretaries 3.2 Interparliamentary Assembly

4 Human rights 5 Military 6 Economy

6.1 Common Economic Space 6.2 Economic data

7 Associated organisations

7.1 Organisation of Central Asian Cooperation 7.2 Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations

8 Other activities

8.1 Controversial election observation body 8.2 Russian language
Russian language
status 8.3 Sports events

9 See also 10 Notes 11 References

11.1 Journals

12 External links

History[edit] Background[edit] In March 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev, the president of the Soviet Union, proposed a federation by holding a referendum to preserve the Union as the Union of Sovereign States. The new treaty signing never happened as the Communist Party hardliners staged an attempted coup in August that year.

Belavezha Accords
Belavezha Accords
and Alma-Ata Protocol
Alma-Ata Protocol
(1991–1993)[edit] Provisional flag of the CIS(1991–1992) Signing of the agreement to establish the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), 8 December 1991 Following the events of August's failed coup, the republics[which?] had declared their independence fearing another coup. A week after the Ukrainian independence referendum was held, which kept the chances of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
staying together low, the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
was founded in its place on 8 December 1991 by the Byelorussian SSR, the Russian SFSR, and the Ukrainian SSR, when the leaders of the three republics met at the Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Natural Reserve, about 50 km (31 mi) north of Brest in Belarus, and signed the "Agreement Establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States", known as the Creation Agreement (Russian: Соглашение, romanized: Soglasheniye). The CIS announced that the new organization would be open to all republics of the former Soviet Union, and to other nations sharing the same goals. The CIS charter stated that all the members were sovereign and independent nations and thereby effectively abolished the Soviet Union. On 21 December 1991, the leaders of eight additional former Soviet Republics (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
and Uzbekistan) signed the Alma-Ata Protocol which can either be interpreted as expanding the CIS to these states or the proper foundation or refoundation date of the CIS,[4] thus bringing the number of participating countries to 11.[5] Georgia joined two years later, in December 1993.[6] At this point, 12 of the 15 former Soviet Republics participated in the CIS. The three Baltic states
Baltic states
did not, reflecting their governments' and people's view that the post-1940 Soviet occupation of their territory was illegitimate (in 2004 they joined NATO
NATO
and the European Union). The CIS and Soviet Union
Soviet Union
also legally co-existed briefly with each other until 26 December 1991, when Soviet President Gorbachev stepped down, officially dissolving the Soviet Union. This was followed by Ivan Korotchenya becoming Executive Secretary of the CIS on the same day.[7] After the end of the dissolution process of the Soviet Union, Russia and the Central Asian republics were weakened economically and faced declines in GDP. Post-Soviet states
Post-Soviet states
underwent economic reforms and privatisation.[journal 1][8] The process of Eurasian integration began immediately after the break-up of the Soviet Union to salvage economic ties with Post-Soviet republics.[journal 2]

CIS Charter (1993 to present)[edit] The 20–22 June 2000 CIS Summit On 22 January 1993, the Charter (Statutes) of the CIS were signed, setting up the different institutions of the CIS, their functions, the rules and statutes of the CIS. The Charter also defined that all countries having ratified the Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS and its relevant (Alma-Ata) Protocol would be considered to be founding states of the CIS, as well as that only countries ratifying the Charter would be considered to be member states of the CIS (art. 7). Other states can participate as associate members or observers, if accepted as such by a decision of the Council of Heads of State to the CIS (art. 8). All the founding states, apart from Ukraine
Ukraine
and Turkmenistan, ratified the Charter of the CIS and became member states of it. Nevertheless, Ukraine
Ukraine
and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
kept participating in the CIS, without being member states of it. Ukraine
Ukraine
became an associate member of the CIS Economic Union in April 1994, and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
became an associate member of the CIS in August 2005. Georgia left the CIS altogether in 2009 and Ukraine
Ukraine
stopped participating in 2018. During a speech at Moscow
Moscow
State University in 1994, the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, suggested the idea of creating a "common defense" space within the CIS[9][10][11][12] Nazarbayev idea was quickly seen as a way to bolster trade, boost investments in the region, and serve as a counterweight to the West and East Asia.[10][13] Between 2003 and 2005, three CIS member states experienced a change of government in a series of colour revolutions: Eduard Shevardnadze
Eduard Shevardnadze
was overthrown in Georgia; Viktor Yushchenko
Viktor Yushchenko
was elected in Ukraine; and Askar Akayev
Askar Akayev
was toppled in Kyrgyzstan. In February 2006, Georgia withdrew from the Council of Defense Ministers, with the statement that "Georgia has taken a course to join NATO
NATO
and it cannot be part of two military structures simultaneously",[14][15] but it remained a full member of the CIS until August 2009, one year after officially withdrawing in the immediate aftermath of the Russo-Georgian War. In March 2007, Igor Ivanov, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, expressed his doubts concerning the usefulness of the CIS, emphasising that the Eurasian Economic Community was becoming a more competent organisation to unify the largest countries of the CIS.[16] Following the withdrawal of Georgia, the presidents of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan skipped the October 2009 meeting of the CIS, each having their own issues and disagreements with the Russian Federation.[17] The Council of Foreign Ministers met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
on 11 April 2003 to discuss the War in Iraq
War in Iraq
and consider a draft program for the fight against terrorism and extremism, with the particularly the need for an international role in post-war Iraq, was further addressed at the May summit in St. Petersburg.[18] In May 2009, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine
Ukraine
joined the Eastern Partnership, a project which was initiated by the European Union
European Union
(EU).

Membership[edit] There are nine full member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Creation Agreement remained the main constituent document of the CIS until January 1993, when the CIS Charter (Russian: Устав, Ustav) was adopted.[19] The charter formalised the concept of membership: a member country is defined as a country that ratifies the CIS Charter (sec. 2, art. 7). Parties to CIS Creation Agreement but not the Charter are considered to be "Founding States" but not a full members. Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
has not ratified the Charter and therefore is not formally a member of the CIS. Nevertheless, it has consistently participated in the CIS as if it were a member state. Turkmenistan changed its CIS standing to associate member as of 26 August 2005 in order to be consistent with its UN-recognised international neutrality status.[20][21] Although Ukraine
Ukraine
was one of the states which ratified the Creation Agreement in December 1991, making it a Founding State of the CIS, it chose not to ratify the CIS Charter[22][23] as it disagrees with Russia
Russia
being the only legal successor state to the Soviet Union. Thus it has never been a full a member of the CIS.[6][24] However, Ukraine
Ukraine
kept participating in the CIS, despite not being a member. In 1993, Ukraine
Ukraine
became an associate member of CIS.[25] Following the Russian military intervention in Ukraine
Ukraine
and annexation of Crimea, relations between Ukraine
Ukraine
and Russia
Russia
deteriorated, leading Ukraine
Ukraine
to consider ending its participation in the CIS. As Ukraine never ratified the Charter, it could cease its informal participation in the CIS. However, to fully terminate its relationship with the CIS it would need to legally withdraw from the Creation Agreement, as Georgia did previously. On 14 March 2014, a bill was introduced to Ukraine's parliament to denounce their ratification of the CIS Creation Agreement, but it was never approved.[26][27][28] Following the 2014 parliamentary election, a new bill to denounce the CIS agreement was introduced.[29][30] In September 2015, the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Ukraine
Ukraine
will continue taking part in the CIS "on a selective basis".[31][32] Since that month, Ukraine
Ukraine
has had no representatives in the CIS Executive Committee building.[31] In April 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko
Petro Poroshenko
indicated that Ukraine
Ukraine
would formally leave the CIS.[33] As of 1 June the CIS secretariat had not received formal notice from Ukraine
Ukraine
of its withdrawal from the CIS, a process which will take 1 year following notice being given.[34][35][36][37][38][39][40] On 19 May 2018, President Poroshenko signed a decree formally ending Ukraine's participation in CIS statutory bodies.[3] The CIS secretariat stated that it will continue inviting Ukraine
Ukraine
to participate.[38] Ukraine
Ukraine
has further stated that it intends to review its participation in all CIS agreements, and only continue in those that are in its interests.[41][42] The CIS secretariat stated that they will keep inviting Ukraine
Ukraine
to participate in CIS activities.[38] In light of Russia's support for the independence of breakaway regions within Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine,[43][44][45] as well as its violation of the Istanbul Agreement (see Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty), legislative initiatives to denounce the agreement on the creation of CIS were tabled in Moldova's parliament on 25 March 2014, though they were not approved.[46][47][48] A similar bill was proposed in January 2018.[49][50]

Member states[edit]

Country[51]

Agreement/protocol ratified

Charter ratified

Notes

 Azerbaijan 24 September 1993 24 September 1993

 Belarus 10 December 1991 18 January 1994 Founding state

 Kazakhstan 23 December 1991 20 April 1994 Founding state

 Kyrgyzstan 6 March 1992 12 April 1994 Founding state

 Armenia 18 February 1992 16 March 1994 Founding state

 Moldova 8 April 1994 15 April 1994

 Russia 12 December 1991 20 July 1993 Founding state

 Tajikistan 26 June 1993 4 August 1993

 Uzbekistan 4 January 1992 9 February 1994 Founding state

Parties of the Creation Agreement[edit] Two states, Ukraine
Ukraine
and Turkmenistan, have ratified the CIS Creation Agreement, making them "founding states of the CIS", but did not ratify the subsequent Charter that would make them members of the CIS. These states, while not being formal members of the CIS, were allowed to participate in CIS.[52] They were also allowed to participate in various CIS initiatives, e.g. the Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area,[53] which were, however, formulated mostly as independent multilateral agreements, and not as internal CIS agreements. Additionally, Ukraine
Ukraine
became an associate member state of the CIS Economic Union in 1994 and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
an associate member state of the CIS in 2005.

Country[51]

Agreement/protocol ratified

Charter ratified

Notes

 Turkmenistan 26 December 1991 Not ratified "Founding state". Has not been a member. "Associate state" since 2005.

Former member state[edit]

Country

Agreement/protocol ratified

Charter ratified

Withdrawn

Effective

Notes

 Georgia 3 December 1993 19 April 1994 18 August 2008 18 August 2009 Withdrew as a result of the Russo-Georgian War
Russo-Georgian War
of 2008.

Former participating non-member state[edit]

Country

Agreement/Protocol ratified

Charter ratified

Withdrawn representatives

Notes

 Ukraine

10 December 1991

Never ratified

19 May 2018

"Founding state". Has never been a member. "Associate state" since 1993. Largely ceased to participate in CIS from 2014, and withdrew representatives from all statutory bodies of CIS in 2018 as a result of the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation
Russian Federation
and Russia's involvement in the War in Donbass[54]

Politics[edit] Executive Secretaries[edit]

Name

Country

Term

Ivan Korotchenya

 Belarus

26 December 1991 – 29 April 1998

Boris Berezovsky

 Russia

29 April 1998 – 4 March 1999

Ivan Korotchenya

 Belarus

4 March – 2 April 1999

Yury Yarov

 Russia

2 April 1999 – 14 June 2004

Vladimir Rushailo

 Russia

14 June 2004 – 5 October 2007

Sergei Lebedev

 Russia

5 October 2007 – Incumbent

Interparliamentary Assembly[edit] Meeting of CIS leaders in Bishkek, 2008 The Interparliamentary Assembly
Interparliamentary Assembly
was established in 27 March 1992 in Kazakhstan. On 26 May 1995 CIS leaders signed the Convention on the Interparliamentary Assembly
Interparliamentary Assembly
of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States eventually ratified by nine parliaments. Under the terms of the Convention, the IPA was invested with international legitimacy and is housed in the Tauride Palace
Tauride Palace
in St Petersburg
St Petersburg
and acts as the consultative parliamentary wing of the CIS created to discuss problems of parliamentary cooperation and reviews draft documents of common interest and passes model laws to the national legislatures in the CIS (as well as recommendations) for their use in the preparation of new laws and amendments to existing legislation too which have been adopted by more than 130 documents that ensure the convergence of laws in the CIS to the national legislation. The Assembly is actively involved in the development of integration processes in the CIS and also sends observers to the national elections.[55] The Assembly held its 32nd Plenary meeting in Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
on 14 May 2009. Ukraine
Ukraine
participates, but Uzbekistan does not.[56][57]

Human rights[edit] Since its inception, one of the primary goals of the CIS has been to provide a forum for discussing issues related to the social and economic development of the newly independent states. To achieve this goal member states have agreed to promote and protect human rights. Initially, efforts to achieve this goal consisted merely of statements of good will, but on 26 May 1995, the CIS adopted a Commonwealth of Independent States Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.[58] Even before the 1995 human rights treaty, the Charter of the CIS that was adopted in 1991 created, in article 33, a Human Rights Commission sitting in Minsk, Belarus. This was confirmed by decision of the Council of Heads of States of the CIS in 1993. In 1995, the CIS adopted a human rights treaty that includes civil and political as well as social and economic human rights. This treaty entered into force in 1998. The CIS treaty is modeled on the European Convention on Human Rights, but lacking the strong implementation mechanisms of the latter. In the CIS treaty, the Human Rights Commission has very vaguely defined authority. The Statute of the Human Rights Commission, however, also adopted by the CIS Member States as a decision, gives the Commission the right to receive inter-state as well as individual communications.[citation needed] CIS members, especially in Central Asia, continue to have among the world's poorest human rights records. Many activists point examples such as the 2005 Andijan massacre
Andijan massacre
in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
to show that there has been almost no improvement in human rights since the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in Central Asia. The consolidation of power by President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
has resulted in a steady decline in the modest progress of previous years in Russia. The Commonwealth of Independent States continues to face serious challenges in meeting even basic international standards.[59]

Military[edit] Main articles: Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS
Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS
and Joint CIS Air Defense System The members of the council meeting in Moscow
Moscow
in 2017 The CIS Charter establishes the Council of Ministers of Defense, which is vested with the task of coordinating military cooperation of the CIS member states. To this end, the Council develops conceptual approaches to the questions of military and defense policy of the CIS member states; develops proposals aimed to prevent armed conflicts on the territory of the member states or with their participation; gives expert opinions on draft treaties and agreements related to the questions of defense and military developments; issues related suggestions and proposals to the attention of the CIS Council of the Heads of State. Also important is the Council's work on approximation of the legal acts in the area of defense and military development.[citation needed] An important manifestation of integration processes in the area of military and defense collaboration of the CIS member states is the creation, in 1995, of the joint CIS Air Defense System. Over the years, the military personnel of the joint CIS Air Defense System grew twofold along the western, European border of the CIS, and by 1.5 times on its southern borders.[60] When Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
became Russian Defence Minister on 7 May 1992, Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, was appointed as Commander-in-Chief of the CIS Armed Forces (Russian: Объединённые Вооружённые силы СНГ), and his staff were ejected from the MOD and General Staff buildings and given offices in the former Warsaw Pact Headquarters at 41 Leningradsky Prospekt[61] on the northern outskirts of Moscow.[62] Shaposhnikov resigned in June 1993. In December 1993, the CIS Armed Forces Headquarters was abolished.[63] Instead, "the CIS Council of Defence Ministers created a CIS Military Cooperation Coordination Headquarters (MCCH) in Moscow, with 50 per cent of the funding provided by Russia."[64] General Viktor Samsonov
Viktor Samsonov
was appointed as Chief of Staff. The headquarters has now moved to 101000, Москва, Сверчков переулок, 3/2, and 41 Leningradsky Prospekt has now been taken over by another Russian MOD agency. The chiefs of the CIS general staffs have spoken in favor of integrating their national armed forces.[65] The CIS is known to have mediated some regional hostilities between the "Stan countries" in Central Asia.

Economy[edit] Main article: Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
Free Trade Area In 1994, negotiations were initiated between the CIS countries on free trade area (FTA), but no agreement was signed. A proposed free trade agreement would have covered all twelve then CIS members except Turkmenistan.[66] In 2009, a new agreement was begun to create a FTA, the CIS Free Trade Agreement (CISFTA).[67] In October 2011, the new free trade agreement was signed by eight of the eleven CIS prime ministers; Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine
Ukraine
at a meeting in St. Petersburg. Initially, the treaty was only ratified by Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine,[68][69][70] however by the end of 2012, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Moldova
Moldova
had also completed ratification.[71][72] In December 2013, Uzbekistan, signed and then ratified the treaty,[73][74] while the remaining two signatories, Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
and Tajikistan
Tajikistan
later both ratified the treaty in January 2014 and December 2015 respectively.[75][76] Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
is the only full CIS member state not to participate in the free trade area. The free trade agreement eliminates export and import duties on a number of goods but also contains a number of exemptions that will ultimately be phased out.[77] An agreement was also signed on the basic principles of currency regulation and currency controls in the CIS at the same October 2011 meeting.[78] Corruption and bureaucracy are serious problems for trade in CIS countries.[79] Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev
Nursultan Nazarbayev
proposed that CIS members take up a digitization agenda to modernize CIS economies.[80]

Common Economic Space[edit] After discussion about the creation of a common economic space between the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS) countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, agreement in principle about the creation of this space was announced after a meeting in the Moscow suburb of Novo-Ogarevo
Novo-Ogarevo
on 23 February 2003. The Common Economic Space would involve a supranational commission on trade and tariffs that would be based in Kiev, would initially be headed by a representative of Kazakhstan, and would not be subordinate to the governments of the four nations. The ultimate goal would be a regional organisation that would be open for other countries to join as well, and could eventually lead even to a single currency. On 22 May 2003, the Verkhovna Rada
Verkhovna Rada
(the Ukrainian Parliament) voted 266 votes in favour and 51 against the joint economic space. However, most believe that Viktor Yushchenko's victory in the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004 was a significant blow against the project: Yushchenko has shown renewed interest in Ukrainian membership in the European Union
European Union
and such membership would be incompatible with the envisioned common economic space. Yushchenko's successor Viktor Yanukovych stated on 27 April 2010 "Ukraine's entry into the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus
Belarus
and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
is not possible today, since the economic principles and the laws of the WTO
WTO
do not allow it, we develop our policy in accordance with WTO
WTO
principles".[81] Ukraine
Ukraine
is a WTO
WTO
member.[81] A Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and Russia
Russia
was thus created in 2010,[82] with a single market envisioned for 2012.[83]

Economic data[edit]

Country Population[84] (2016) GDP
GDP
2007.mw-parser-output .nobold font-weight:normal (USD) GDP
GDP
2012 (USD) GDP
GDP
growth (2012) GDP
GDP
per capita (2007) GDP
GDP
per capita (2012) Human Development Index(2017)

Belarus 9,480,042 45,275,738,770 58,215,000,000 4.3% 4,656 6,710 0.808

Kazakhstan 17,987,736 104,849,915,344 196,642,000,000 5.2% 6,805 11,700 0.800

Kyrgyzstan 5,955,734 3,802,570,572 6,197,000,000 0.8% 711 1,100 0.664

Russia 143,964,513 1,294,381,844,081 2,022,000,000,000 3.4% 9,119 14,240 0.816

Tajikistan 8,734,951 2,265,340,888 7,263,000,000 2.1% 337 900 0.650

Uzbekistan 31,446,795 22,355,214,805 51,622,000,000 4.1% 831 1,800 0.710

Azerbaijan 9,725,376 33,049,426,816 71,043,000,000 3.8% 3,829 7,500 0.757

Moldova 4,059,608 4,401,137,824 7,589,000,000 4.4% 1,200 2,100 0.700

Armenia 2,924,816 9,204,496,419 10,551,000,000 2.1% 2,996 3,500 0.755

The data is taken from the United Nations statistics division and the United States Central Intelligence Agency.[85]

Associated organisations[edit] Euler diagram
Euler diagram
showing the relationships among various supranational organisations in the territory of the former Soviet Unionv • d • e Organisation of Central Asian Cooperation[edit] Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
formed the OCAC in 1991 as Central Asian Commonwealth
Central Asian Commonwealth
(CAC). The organisation continued in 1994 as the Central Asian Economic Union (CAEU), in which Tajikistan
Tajikistan
and Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
did not participate. In 1998 it became the Central Asian Economic Cooperation (CAEC), which marked the return of Tajikistan. On 28 February 2002 it was renamed to its current name. Russia
Russia
joined on 28 May 2004.[86] On 7 October 2005 it was decided between the member states that Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
will join[87] the Eurasian Economic Community
Eurasian Economic Community
and that the organisations will merge.[88] The organisations joined on 25 January 2006. It is not clear what will happen to the status of current CACO observers that are not observers to EurAsEC (Georgia and Turkey).

Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations[edit] Main article: Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations The post-Soviet disputed states of Abkhazia, Artsakh, South Ossetia, and Transnistria
Transnistria
are all members of the Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations which aims to forge closer integration among the members.

Other activities[edit] Controversial election observation body[edit] The CIS-Election Monitoring Organisation (Russian: Миссия наблюдателей от СНГ на выборах) is an election monitoring body that was formed in October 2002, following a Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
heads of states meeting which adopted the Convention on the Standards of Democratic Elections, Electoral Rights, and Freedoms in the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The CIS-EMO has been sending election observers to member countries of the CIS since this time; they approved many elections which have been heavily criticised by independent observers.[89]

The democratic nature of the final round of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election which followed the Orange Revolution
Orange Revolution
and brought into power the former opposition, was questioned by the CIS while the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe
(OSCE) found no significant problems. This was the first time ever that the CIS observation teams challenged the validity of an election, saying that it should be considered illegitimate. On 15 March 2005, the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency quoted Dmytro Svystkov (a spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry) that Ukraine
Ukraine
has suspended its participation in the CIS election monitoring organisation. The CIS praised the Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
parliamentary elections, 2005 as "legitimate, free and transparent" while the OSCE had referred to the Uzbek elections as having fallen "significantly short of OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections".[90][91] Moldovan authorities refused to invite CIS observers in the 2005 Moldovan parliamentary elections, an action Russia
Russia
criticised. Many dozens such observers from Belarus
Belarus
and Russia
Russia
were stopped from reaching Moldova.[92] CIS observers monitored the Tajikistan
Tajikistan
parliamentary elections, 2005 and in the end declared them "legal, free and transparent." The same elections were pronounced by the OSCE to have failed international standards for democratic elections. Soon after CIS observers hailed the Kyrgyz parliamentary elections of 2005 as "well-organised, free, and fair", as large-scale and often violent demonstrations broke out throughout the country protesting what the opposition called a rigged parliamentary election. In contrast the OSCE reported that the elections fell short of international standards in many areas.[93] International observers of the Interparliamentary Assembly
Interparliamentary Assembly
stated the 2010 local elections in Ukraine
Ukraine
were organised well.[94] While the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
uncovered a number of problems in relation to a new electorate law approved just prior to the elections[94] and the Obama administration
Obama administration
criticised the conduct of the elections, saying they "did not meet standards for openness and fairness".[95][96] Russian language
Russian language
status[edit] Russia
Russia
has been urging that the Russian language
Russian language
receive official status in all of the CIS member states. So far Russian is an official language in only four of these states: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russian is also considered an official language in the region of Transnistria, and the autonomous region of Gagauzia
Gagauzia
in Moldova. Viktor Yanukovych, the Moscow-supported presidential candidate in the controversial 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, declared his intention to make Russian an official second language of Ukraine. However, the Western-supported candidate Viktor Yushchenko, the winner, did not do so. After his early 2010 election as President Yanukovych stated (on 9 March 2010) that " Ukraine
Ukraine
will continue to promote the Ukrainian language
Ukrainian language
as its only state language".[97]

Sports events[edit] At the time of the Soviet Union's dissolution in December 1991, its sports teams had been invited to or qualified for various 1992 sports events. A joint CIS team took its place in some of these. The "Unified Team" competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics
1992 Winter Olympics
and 1992 Summer Olympics, and a CIS association football team competed in UEFA Euro 1992. A CIS bandy team played some friendlies in January 1992 and made its last appearance at the 1992 Russian Government Cup, where it also played against the new Russia
Russia
national bandy team. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
bandy championship for 1991–1992 was rebranded as a CIS championship. Since then, CIS members have each competed separately in international sport. In 2017 a festival for national sports and games, Фестиваль национальных видов спорта и игр государств — участников Содружества Независимых Государств, was held in Ulyanovsk. The main sports were sambo, tug of war, mas-wrestling, gorodki, belt wrestling, lapta, bandy (rink), kettlebell lifting, chess and archery. A few demonstration sports were also a part of the programme.[98]

See also[edit] Asia portalEurope portalPolitics portal Russia
Russia
portal Comecon Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations Eastern Bloc Eurasian Economic Union Collective Security Treaty
Treaty
Organization Regional organisations in post-Soviet states Post-Soviet states Republics of the Soviet Union Visegrad Group Authorised Neutral Athletes Unified Team Notes[edit] 1. ^ The Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
and the Commonwealth of Nations are also called the "Russian Commonwealth" and the "British Commonwealth" respectively to differentiate between them.[99][self-published source] References[edit]

^ " Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus". mfa.gov.by..mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em

^ Corresponds to the terrestrial surface. Including the Exclusive Economic Zones of each member state, the total area is 28 509 317 km².

^ a b "Poroshenko signs decree on final termination of Ukraine's participation in CIS statutory bodies". Retrieved 19 May 2018.

^ Plokhy, Serhii, The Last Empire: The final days of the Soviet Union, Oneworld, London (2014), ISBN 9781780746463, pp 356 – 365

^ Alma-Ata Declaration: 11 countries accede to the CIS, 21 December 1991 (English translation). Russian text here [1]

^ a b Ratification status of CIS documents as of 15 January 2008 Archived 30 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
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^ Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS: 3 founding countries, 8 December 1991 (unofficial English translation). Russian text here [2]

^ " Russia
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^ Alexandrov, Mikhail. Uneasy Alliance: Relations Between Russia
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^ a b Vladimir, Radyuhin. "Three-nation Eurasian union set up as bridge". The Hindu. Retrieved 7 July 2014.

^ "Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan
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^ " Kazakhstan
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^ " Eurasian Economic Union
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^ 3 February 2006 (11 September 2001). "Georgia opts out of ex-Soviet military cooperation body". Pravda.Ru. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ " RIA Novosti
RIA Novosti
– World – Georgia's quitting CIS council will not affect security – Russian minister". En.rian.ru. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ Russia
Russia
questions further existence of the CIS post-soviet organisation InfoNIAC

^ Pannier, Bruce. " Russia
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^ " Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS) - Treaties & Regimes - NTI". www.nti.org.

^ CIS Charter, 22 January 1993 (unofficial English translation). Russian text here

^ Decision on Turkmenistan's associate membership[permanent dead link], CIS Executive Committee meeting in Kazan, Russia, 26 August 2005 ‹See Tfd›(in Russian).

^ Turkmenistan
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reduces CIS ties to "Associate Member", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 29 August 2005.

^ Conflict in the Former USSR. Retrieved 25 September 2014.

^ Russia
Russia
and Nis Mineral Industry Handbook. Retrieved 25 September 2014.

^ September 2008 Statement by Foreign Minister of Ukraine
Ukraine
Volodymyr Ohryzko, " Ukraine
Ukraine
does not recognise the legal personality of this organisation, we are not members of the CIS Economic Court, we did not ratify the CIS Statute, thus, we cannot be considered a member of this organisation from international legal point of view. Ukraine
Ukraine
is a country-participant, but not a member country"

^ Economic Interdependence in Ukrainian-Russian Relations. Retrieved 25 September 2014.

^ "Bill introduced to withdraw Ukraine
Ukraine
from CIS". Kyiv Post. 15 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014.

^ "Результати пошуку законопроектiв, зареєстрованих Верховною Радою України". Retrieved 25 September 2014.

^ "Draft documents on Ukraine's withdrawal from CIS submitted to Verkhovna Rada". Information Telegraph Agency of Russia. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.

^ "Проект Постанови про припинення членства та участі України в органах Співдружності Незалежних Держав". Verkhovna Rada. Retrieved 30 November 2014.

^ "Проект Закону про зупинення дії Угоди про створення Співдружності Незалежних Держав". Verkhovna Rada. Retrieved 26 December 2014.

^ a b Ukraine
Ukraine
to selectively work as part of CIS, BelTA (21 September 2015)

^ Yatsenyuk says Ukraine
Ukraine
will drop Commonwealth of Independent States criminal search database system on Aug 24, Kyiv Post
Kyiv Post
(20 August 2015)

^ " Ukraine
Ukraine
to officially quit CIS – Poroshenko". UNIAN. Retrieved 12 April 2018.

^ http://vestnikkavkaza.net/news/Ukraine-s-withdrawal-from-CIS-to-take-one-year.html

^ "CIS Executive Secretary hopes Ukraine
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^ " Ukraine
Ukraine
did not officially inform on its withdrawal from CIS, - CIS Executive Committee". 1 June 2018. Retrieved 23 April 2018.

^ "Kyrgyz envoy: CIS to consider Ukraine's withdrawal as soon as Kyiv files official application". Interfax-Ukraine. 2 June 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.

^ a b c "CIS to continue sending meeting invitations to Ukraine". 23 May 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.

^ "Ukraine's withdrawal from CIS to not bring it closer to EU, - Russia". 22 May 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.

^ "Executive Committee Chairman: CIS states interested in keeping Ukraine
Ukraine
as member". 11 October 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.

^ " Ukraine
Ukraine
to not denounce agreements on transit, employment within CIS". 16 April 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018.

^ " Ukraine
Ukraine
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^ Buckley, Neil (25 November 2014). "Georgia calls on west to condemn Abkhazia
Abkhazia
treaty with Russia". Financial Times. Retrieved 9 May 2015.

^ Rettman, Andrew (7 May 2015). "Donbas: A new 'black hole' in Europe". Retrieved 9 May 2015.

^ " Russia
Russia
Erecting Monument to 'Little Green Men' Who Took Over Crimea". Moscow
Moscow
Times. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.

^ In Moldova
Moldova
propose to denounce the agreement on creation of CIS. Ukrinform. 25 March 2014

^ "Proiectul hotărîrii cu privire la denunțarea Acordului de constituire a Comunității Statelor Independente". Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Retrieved 4 November 2014.

^ "Proiectul legii cu privire la denunțarea Acordului de constituire a Comunității Statelor Independente nr.40-XII din 08.04.1994". Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Retrieved 4 November 2014.

^ "Proiectul hotărîrii cu privire la denunțarea Acordului de constituire a Comunității Statelor Independente". Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. 2 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.

^ " Moldova
Moldova
Says It Would Leave CIS Only After Becoming EU Candidate". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.

^ a b "Сведения о ратификации документов, принятых в рамках СНГ в 1991 – 2014 годах". Commonwealth of Independent States. Retrieved 10 October 2014.

^ "Ukraine's withdrawal from CIS to take one year - Vestnik Kavkaza". vestnikkavkaza.net.

^ "FREE TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN AZERBAIJAN, ARMENIA, BELARUS, GEORGIA, MOLDOVA, KAZAKHSTAN, THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, UKRAINE, UZBEKISTAN, TAJIKISTAN AND THE KYRGYZ REPUBLIC" (PDF). Retrieved 21 July 2018.

^ Ponomarenko, Illia (19 May 2018). " Ukraine
Ukraine
withdraws all envoys from CIS bodies". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 20 May 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2018.

^ Information and Publish. Department. "CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly". Cisstat.com. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ "Member Nations of the CIS". CIS Interparliamentary Assembly. Retrieved 14 March 2015.

^ http://m.ebrary.net/1043/economics/interparliamentary_assembly[permanent dead link]

^ " Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms". 1995. Retrieved 24 March 2013.

^ "Democracy Deficit Grows in Former Soviet Union" 2011. date retrieved 12 February 2014

^ "Информация о Совете министров обороны государств – участников Содружества Независимых Государств". Cis.minsk.by. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ Johnson's Russia
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List #2142 Archived 6 March 2001 at the Wayback Machine, 9 April 1998

^ Odom, The Collapse of the Soviet Military, p.385-86

^ Interfax, 22 December 1993, via Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paige Sullivan, ' Russia
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and the Commonwealth of Independent States' CSIS, 1997, p.464 via Google Books

^ SIPRI 1998 Annual, p.18

^ "CIS chiefs of staff want military integration." RIA Novosti, 3 December 2010.

^ "Free Trade Agreement Between Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, The Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
And The Kyrgyz Republic" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ Russia
Russia
expects the CIS countries to create a free trade zone by yearend, 17 June 2010

^ CIS Free Trade Agreement comes into force; Baker & McKenzi, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, 18 October 2012, 18 October 2011

^ Russia’s Duma ratifies Eurasian Economic Union, odessatalk.com. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

^ CIS Free Trade Agreement comes into force; Baker & McKenzi, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, 18 October 2012, Retrieved 22 June 2018.

^ Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
ratified agreement on Free Trade zone www.kaztag.kz. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

^ Armenia
Armenia
ratifies CIS free trade zone agreement, arka.am. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

^ Usbekistan: Protokoll über Beitritt zur GUS-Freihandelszone in Kraft getreten, de.ria.ru 28 December 2013. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

^ Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
joins CIS free trade zone, azernews.az. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

^ Dushanbe
Dushanbe
ratifies agreement on CIS free trade area, Vestnik Kavkaza. Retrieved 22 June 2018.

^ Tajikistan
Tajikistan
ratifies CIS Free Trade Zone Agreement, AKIpress. Retrieved 22 June 2018

^ CIS leaders sign free trade deal, 19 October 2011

^ Most CIS states sign free trade zone agreement, 19 October 2011

^ "Petro Jacyk Program – Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2014.

^ "Nazarbayev proposes CIS modernisation, meets EUAU counterparts in Sochi". Astana Calling.

^ a b Yanukovych: Ukraine
Ukraine
won't join Customs Union, Kyiv Post
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(27 April 2010)

^ "Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus
Belarus
plan on common economic space". Rbcnews.com. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ " Russia
Russia
expects CIS countries to create free trade area". En.rian.ru. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations
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^ "The World Factbook".

^ "Central Asian Cooperation Organisation". Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ "Working group discusses Uzbekistan's accession to EurAsEC". En.rian.ru. Archived from the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ "Collective Security: A Timeline". Centralasia.foreignpolicyblogs.com. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ "Election fraud: How to steal an election". The Economist. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2012.

^ "Foreign observers differ in their evaluation of the election in Uzbekistan". Enews.ferghana.ru. Retrieved 23 July 2013.[permanent dead link]

^ Alexander Yakovenko, the Spokesman of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Answers a Russian Media Question Regarding International Observers' Conclusions on Election Results in Ukraine
Ukraine
and Uzbekistan Archived 23 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine

^ "CIS Observers Outraged by Deportation of Colleagues". azi.md.

^ Kupchinsky, Roman. "CIS: Monitoring The Election Monitors". Rferl.org. Retrieved 23 July 2013.

^ a b EU will not condemn the local elections in Ukraine
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Archived 7 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Razumkov Centre
Razumkov Centre
(3 November 2010)

^ Interview: Top U.S. Diplomat Discusses Regional Developments, Abuses, Stalemates, And Cooperation, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (5 November 2010)

^ Ukraine's Ballot Flawed, U.S. Says, The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
(4 November 2010)

^ Yanukovych: Ukraine
Ukraine
will not have second state language, Kyiv Post (9 March 2010)

^ "Виды спорта - I Фестиваль национальных видов спорта и игр государств – участников СНГ - Ульяновск 2017". sportuln.ru.

^ Vinep A Kankam-da-Costa (2012). Who Is Fit to Rule America in the Twenty-First Century and Beyond?. Xlibris. p. 271. ISBN 9781479739653. Retrieved 17 November 2013.

Journals[edit]

^ "Russian Federation" (PDF). Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Retrieved 7 July 2014.

^ "Eurasian economic integration: figures and facts" (PDF). Retrieved 7 July 2014.

External links[edit]

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Commonwealth of Independent States.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Commonwealth of Independent States.

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