Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Содружество Независимых Государств (СНГ)
Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv (SNG)
Full members Former full member (Georgia) Participating non-member (Ukraine) Associate member (Turkmenistan)
|-||Executive Secretary||Sergei Lebedev|
|Establishment||21 December 1991|
|-||CST||15 May 1992|
|-||CISFTA established||19 September 2003|
8,533,183 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2007 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2007 estimate|
|Time zone||(UTC+2 to +12)|
|2||Has not ratified the charter|
|4||Georgia was an official member from 1994 to 2009|
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) (Russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, tr. Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG) is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The CIS is comparable to a very loose association of states and in no way comparable to a federation, confederation or supra-national organisation such as the old European Community. It is more comparable to the Commonwealth of Nations. Although the CIS has few supranational powers, it is more than a purely symbolic organization, possessing coordinating powers in the realm of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security. It has also promoted cooperation on democratization and cross-border crime prevention. As a regional organization, CIS participates in UN peacekeeping forces. Some of the members of the CIS have established the Eurasian Economic Community with the aim of creating a full-fledged common market.
The organization was founded on 8 December 1991 by the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, when the leaders of the three countries met in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Natural Reserve, about 50 km (30 miles) north of Brest in Belarus and signed a Creation Agreement (Russian: Соглашение, Soglasheniye) on the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of CIS as a successor entity to the USSR. At the same time they announced that the new alliance would be open to all republics of the former Soviet Union, as well as 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 Soviet Republics – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – agreed to join the CIS, thus bringing the number of participating countries to 11. Georgia joined two years later, in December 1993. As of that time, 12 of the 15 former Soviet Republics participated in the CIS. Three former Soviet Republics, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, chose not to join.
In March 2007, Igor Ivanov, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, expressed his doubts concerning the usefulness of CIS, and emphasizing that the Eurasian Economic Community became a more competent organization to unify the biggest countries of the CIS. In May 2009 the six countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine joined the Eastern Partnership, a project which was initiated by the European Union (EU).
When Yeltsin became Russian Defence Minister on 7 May 1992, Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, the man appointed as Commander-in-Chief of the CIS Armed Forces, 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 on the northern outskirts of Moscow. Shaposhnikov resigned in June 1993.
In December 1993, the CIS Armed Forces Headquarters was abolished. 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.' General Viktor Samsonov was appointed as Chief of Staff.
The Creation Agreement remained the main constituent document of the CIS until January 1993, when the CIS Charter (Russian: Устав, Ustav) was adopted. The charter formalized the concept of membership: a member country is defined as a country that ratifies the CIS Charter (sec. 2, art. 7). Turkmenistan has not ratified the charter and changed its CIS standing to associate member as of 26 August 2005 in order to be consistent with its UN-recognized international neutrality status. Although Ukraine was one of the three founding countries and ratified the Creation Agreement in December 1991, Ukraine did not to ratify the CIS Charter and is not a member of the CIS.
|Country||Signed||Ratified||Charter ratified||Membership Status|
|Armenia||21 December 1991||18 February 1992||16 March 1994||official member|
|Azerbaijan||21 December 1991||24 September 1993||14 December 1993||official member|
|Belarus||8 December 1991||10 December 1991||18 January 1994||official member|
|Kazakhstan||21 December 1991||23 December 1991||20 April 1994||official member|
|Kyrgyzstan||21 December 1991||6 March 1992||12 April 1994||official member|
|Moldova||21 December 1991||8 April 1994||27 June 1994||official member|
|Russia||8 December 1991||12 December 1991||20 July 1993||official member|
|Tajikistan||21 December 1991||26 June 1993||4 August 1993||official member|
|Turkmenistan||21 December 1991||26 December 1991||Not ratified||unofficial associate member|
|Ukraine||8 December 1991||10 December 1991||Not ratified||de facto participating; officially not a member|
|Uzbekistan||21 December 1991||1 April 1992||9 February 1994||official member|
Between the years of 2003 and 2005, three CIS member states experienced a change of government in a series of colour revolutions: Eduard Shevardnadze was overthrown in Georgia, Viktor Yushchenko was elected in Ukraine, and, lastly, Askar Akayev was toppled in Kyrgyzstan. In February 2006, Georgia officially withdrew from the Council of Defense Ministers, with the statement that "Georgia has taken a course to join NATO and it cannot be part of two military structures simultaneously", but it remained a full member of the CIS until August 2009.
|Georgia||—||3 December 1993||19 April 1994||18 August 2008||17 August 2009|
Following the South Ossetian war in 2008, President Saakashvili announced during a public speech in the capital city Tbilisi that Georgia would leave the CIS and the Georgian Parliament voted unanimously (on 14 August 2008) to withdraw from the regional organization. On 18 August 2008 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia sent a note to the CIS Executive Committee notifying it of the aforesaid resolutions of the Parliament of Georgia and Georgia’s withdrawal from CIS. In accordance with the CIS Charter (sec. 1, art. 9), Georgia's withdrawal came into effect 12 months later, on 18 August 2009.
|Ivan Korotchenya||Belarus||26 December 1991 - 29 April 1998|
|Boris Berezovsky||Russia||29 April 1998 - 4 March 1999|
|Ivan Korotchenya (acting)||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||since 5 October 2007|
Following the withdrawal of Georgia, the presidents of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan skipped the Oct 2009 meeting of the CIS.
The Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC or EAEC) originated from a customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on the 29 March 1996. It was named EEC on 10 October 2000 when Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan signed the treaty. EurAsEC was formally created when the treaty was finally ratified by all five member states in May 2001. Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine have the observer status. EurAsEC is working on establishing a common energy market and exploring the more efficient use of water in central Asia.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan formed the OCAC in 1991 as Central Asian Commonwealth (CAC). The organization continued in 1994 as Central Asian Economic Union (CAEU), in which Tajikistan and Turkmenistan did not participate. In 1998 it became Central Asian Economic Cooperation (CAEC), which marked the return of Tajikistan. On 28 February 2002 it was renamed to its current name. Russia joined on 28 May 2004. On 7 October 2005 it was decided between the member states that Uzbekistan will join the Eurasian Economic Community and that the organizations will merge. The organizations 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).
After discussion about the creation of a common economic space between the 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 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 (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, and such membership would be incompatible with the envisioned common economic space. The creation of a common economic space for Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus may be launched on 1 January 2010.
|Country||Population||GDP 2006 (USD)||GDP 2007 (USD)||growth||per capita|
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) (Russian: Организация Договора о Коллективной Безопасности) or simply the Tashkent Treaty (Russian: Ташкентский договор) first began as the CIS Collective Security Treaty which was signed on 15 May 1992, by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, in the city of Tashkent. Azerbaijan signed the treaty on 24 September 1993, Georgia on 9 December 1993 and Belarus on 31 December 1993. The treaty came into effect on 20 April 1994.
The CST was set to last for a 5-year period unless extended. On 2 April 1999, only six members of the CSTO signed a protocol renewing the treaty for another five year period -- Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan refused to sign and withdrew from the treaty instead. Organization was named CSTO on 7 October 2002 in Tashkent. Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed secretary general of the new organization. During 2005, the CSTO partners conducted some common military exercises. In 2005, Uzbekistan withdrew from GUAM and on 23 June 2006, Uzbekistan became a full participant in the CSTO and its membership was formally ratified by its parliament on 28 March 2008. The CSTO is an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.
The charter reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all. To this end, the CSTO holds yearly military command exercises for the CSTO nations to have an opportunity to improve inter-organization cooperation. The largest-scale CSTO military exercise held to date were the "Rubezh 2008" exercises hosted in Armenia where a combined total of 4,000 troops from all 7 constituent CSTO member countries conducted operative, strategic, and tactical training with an emphasis towards furthering efficiency of the collective security element of the CSTO partnership.
In May 2007 the CSTO secretary-general Nikolai Bordyuzha suggested Iran could join the CSTO saying, "The CSTO is an open organization. If Iran applies in accordance with our charter, we will consider the application." If Iran joined it would be the first state outside the former Soviet Union to become a member of the organization.
On 6 October 2007, CSTO members agreed to a major expansion of the organization that would create a CSTO peacekeeping force that could deploy under a U.N. mandate or without one in its member states. The expansion would also allow all members to purchase Russian weapons at the same price as Russia. CSTO signed an agreement with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, to broaden cooperation on issues such as security, crime, and drug trafficking.
On 29 August 2008, Russia announced it would seek CSTO recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Three days before, on 26 August, Russia recognized the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. On 5 September 2008, Armenia assumed the rotating CSTO presidency during a CSTO meeting in Moscow, Russia.
In October 2009 Ukraine refused permission for the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center to hold anti-terrorist exercises on its territory because Ukraine's constitution bans foreign military units from operating on its territory.
The CIS Election Monitoring Organization (Russian: Миссия наблюдателей от СНГ на выборах) is an election monitoring body that was formed in October 2002, following a 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.
The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, established in March 1995, is a consultative parliamentary wing of the CIS created to discuss problems of parliamentary cooperation. The Assembly will hold its 32nd Plenary meeting in Saint Petersburg on 14 May 2009.
Russia has been urging that the Russian language receive official status in all of the CIS member states. So far Russian is an official language in 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 in Moldova. Viktor Yanukovych, the Moscow-supported presidential candidate in the controversial Ukrainian presidential election, 2004, declared his intention to make Russian an official second language of Ukraine. However, Viktor Yushchenko, the winner, did not do so, since he was closely aligned with the Ukrainian-speaking population.
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 and 1992 Summer Olympics, and a CIS association football team competed in UEFA Euro 1992. Since then, CIS members have each competed separately in international sport.
The Commonwealth of Independent States may refer to any or all of the following countries:
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Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is the international organization, or .
On December 8 1991, leaders of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine met in a place in Belarus. They met in a Natural Reserve named Belovezhskaya Pushcha. They discussed the matter of creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). They reached an agreement, and signed a document creating the CIS. The document contained many points about the CIS. One of the same stated that the alliance would be open to all the republics of the Soviet Union. Other nations with similar goals could also join the CIS.
The Soviet Union had 15 republics: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. On 6th September 1991, the Soviet Union had recognized the independence of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Out of the remaining 12 republics, all (except Georgia) joined the CIS. Before joining the CIS, on 21st December 1991, leaders of these 11 countries had met in Kazakhstan to accept the original CIS agreement of 8th December 1991. In December 1993, Georgia also joined the CIS. On 26th August 2006 Turkmenistan left the permanent membership, and became an associate member. On 15th August 2008 Georgia left the CIS membership, and Georgia's CIS membership officially ended on 17th August 2009.
Many persons believed that with the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Soviet Union ceased to exist. They believed that it was the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Many others think that with CIS, Russia continues to have some control over the former republics of the Soviet Union.
The CIS has its headquarters at Minsk, Belarus. An Executive Director heads the CIS. The CIS is not a successor country to the Soviet Union. The CIS is an organization or alliance of independent countries. It is more like the European Community. The member countries of the CIS had also signed many agreements for economic cooperation and defense cooperation. They have signed other agreements for cooperation in foreign policy and other matter.