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Commonwealth of Independent States

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Содружество Независимых Государств (СНГ)
Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv (SNG)
Flag Emblem
Administrative center Minsk
Largest city Moscow
Working language Russian
Government Commonwealth
 -  Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev
 -  Presidency  Belarus
Establishment 8 December 1991
 -  Collective Security Treaty Organisation 15 May 1992 
 -  Free trade agreement (CISFTA) signed 1994[1] 
 -  CISFTA established End of 2010[2] 
 -  Total 22,100,843 km2
8,533,183 sq mi
 -  2008 estimate 276,917,629
 -  Density 12.53/km2
32.5/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2007 estimate
 -  Total $2,906.944 billion
 -  Per capita $10,498
GDP (nominal) 2013 estimate
 -  Total $2,808.844 billion
 -  Per capita $10,113
Time zone (UTC+2 to +12)

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union.

The CIS is a loose association of states. Although the CIS has few supranational powers, it is aimed at being more than a purely symbolic organisation, nominally possessing coordinating powers in the realm of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security. It has also promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention. Some of the members of the CIS have established the Eurasian Economic Community with the aim of creating a fully fledged common market.


  • History 1
  • Membership 2
    • Participating states 2.1
    • Former member states 2.2
  • Leadership 3
    • Executive Secretaries 3.1
  • Human rights 4
  • Military structures 5
  • Associated organisations 6
    • Free trade area (CISFTA) 6.1
      • 1994 6.1.1
      • 2011 6.1.2
    • Eurasian Economic Community 6.2
    • Organisation of Central Asian Cooperation 6.3
    • Common Economic Space 6.4
    • Collective Security Treaty Organisation 6.5
  • Other activities 7
    • Controversial election observation mission 7.1
    • Inter-Parliamentary Assembly 7.2
    • Russian language status 7.3
    • Sports events 7.4
  • Economic data 8
  • See also 9
  • Notes 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


The organisation 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 (31 mi) north of Brest in Belarus and signed the "Agreement Establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States", known as the Creation Agreement (Russian: Соглашение, Soglasheniye), on the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of CIS as a successor entity to it.[3] At the same time they announced that the new alliance 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 –

  • CIS Executive Committee
  • Interstate Statistical Committee of the CIS
  • Charter of the CIS
  • PINR - C.I.S. Struggles for Cohesion
  • RZB Outlook For Commonwealth Of Independent States
  • Food Security in Caucasus and Republic of Moldova (FAO)
  • Kembayev, Zhenis. Legal Aspects of the Regional Integration Processes in the Post-Soviet Area. Berlin-Heidelberg: Springer Verlag, 2009 (summary and sample pages).
  • Belarus Leads The CIS In 2013

External links

  1. ^ "Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Agreement". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "Russia expects CIS countries to create free trade zone by yearend | Ex-Soviet States | RIA Novosti". 17 June 2010. Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Agreement on the Establishment of the CIS: 3 founding countries, 8 December 1991 (unofficial English translation). Russian text here [3]
  4. ^ Alma-Ata Declaration: 11 countries accede to the CIS, 21 December 1991 (English translation). Russian text here [4]
  5. ^ a b Ratification status of CIS documents as of 15 January 2008 (Russian)
  6. ^ 03.02.2006 (11 September 2001). "Georgia opts out of ex-Soviet military cooperation body". Pravda.Ru. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  7. ^ "RIA Novosti - World - Georgia's quitting CIS council will not affect security - Russian minister". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  8. ^ Russia questions further existence of the CIS post-soviet organisation InfoNIAC
  9. ^ Pannier, Bruce. "Russia Facing Resistance With Allies On CIS's Southern Flank". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  10. ^ CIS Charter, 22 January 1993 (unofficial English translation). text hereRussian
  11. ^ Decision on Turkmenistan's associate membership, CIS Executive Committee meeting in Kazan, Russia, 26 August 2005 (Russian).
  12. ^ Turkmenistan reduces CIS ties to "Associate Member", Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 29 August 2005.
  13. ^ "Conflict in the Former USSR". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  14. ^ "Russia and Nis Mineral Industry Handbook". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  15. ^ September 2008 Statement by Foreign Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Ohryzko, “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 is a country-participant, but not a member country”
  16. ^ "Economic Interdependence in Ukrainian-Russian Relations". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  17. ^ "Bill introduced to withdraw Ukraine from CIS".  
  18. ^ "Результати пошуку законопроектiв, зареєстрованих Верховною Радою України". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "Draft documents on Ukraine’s withdrawal from CIS submitted to Verkhovna Rada".  
  20. ^ "Проект Постанови про припинення членства та участі України в органах Співдружності Незалежних Держав".  
  21. ^ In Moldova propose to denounce the agreement on creation of CIS. Ukrinform. 25 March 2014
  22. ^ "Proiectul hotărîrii cu privire la denunțarea Acordului de constituire a Comunității Statelor Independente".  
  23. ^ "Proiectul legii cu privire la denunțarea Acordului de constituire a Comunității Statelor Independente nr.40-XII din 08.04.1994".  
  24. ^ a b "Сведения о ратификации документов, принятых в рамках СНГ в 1991 - 2014 годах". Commonwealth of Independent States. Retrieved 2014-10-10. 
  25. ^ "Commonwealth of Independent States Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms". 1995. Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  26. ^ "Democracy Deficit Grows in Former Soviet Union" 2011. date retrieved 12 February 2014
  27. ^ "Информация о Совете министров обороны государств – участников Содружества Независимых Государств". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  28. ^ Johnson's Russia List #2142, 9 April 1998
  29. ^ Odom, The Collapse of the Soviet Military, p.385-86
  30. ^ Interfax, 22 December 1993, via Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paige Sullivan, 'Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States' CSIS, 1997, p.464 via Google Books
  31. ^ SIPRI 1998 Annual, p.18
  32. ^ "CIS chiefs of staff want military integration." RIA Novosti, 3 December 2010.
  33. ^ "Free Trade Agreement Between Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, The Russian Federation, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan And The Kyrgyz Republic" (PDF). Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  34. ^ Russia expects the CIS countries to create a free trade zone by yearend, 2010-06-17
  35. ^ CIS Free Trade Agreement comes into force; Baker & McKenzi, Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, 18 October 2012, 2011-10-18
  36. ^ CIS leaders sign free trade deal, 2011-10-19
  37. ^ Most CIS states sign free trade zone agreement, 2011-10-19
  38. ^ "Petro Jacyk Program - Centre for Russian and East European Studies, University of Toronto". Retrieved 25 September 2014. 
  39. ^ WTO WT/REG71/1
  40. ^ "Foundation Agreement Of Eaec Agreement On Foundation Of Eurasian Economic Community" (PDF). Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  41. ^ "Central Asian Cooperation Organisation". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  42. ^ "Working group discusses Uzbekistan's accession to EurAsEC". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  43. ^ "Collective Security: A Timeline". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  44. ^ a b Yanukovych: Ukraine won't join Customs Union, Kyiv Post (27 April 2010)
  45. ^ "Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus plan on common economic space". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  46. ^ "Russia expects CIS countries to create free trade area". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  47. ^ The Charter of the CSTO
  48. ^ "Евразийский дом - информационно-аналитический портал". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  49. ^ “Rubezh 2008”: The First Large-Scale CSTO Military Exercise | PfP Information Management System (PIMS)
  50. ^ Chossudovsky, Michel. "Iran invited to join Central Security Treaty Organisation". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  51. ^ "Gendarme of Eurasia - Kommersant Moscow". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  52. ^ "Leading News Resource of Pakistan". Daily Times. 6 October 2007. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  53. ^ Halpin, Tony (30 August 2008). "Kremlin announces that South Ossetia will join one united Russian state". The Times (London). Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  54. ^ "Armenian News - PanARMENIAN.Net | Armenian News Agency - CSTO Security Councils Secretaries meet in Yerevan". Panarmenian.Net. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  55. ^ Ukraine refuses to hold CIS anti-terrorist drills on its territory, Kyiv Post (29 October 2009)
  56. ^ Central Asian armies start exercises to counter potential Arab Spring-style unrest, The Daily Telegraph (20 September 2011)
  57. ^ "Election fraud: How to steal an election".  
  58. ^ "Foreign observers differ in their evaluation of the election in Uzbekistan". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  59. ^ 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 and Uzbekistan
  60. ^ CIS Observers Outraged by Deportation of Colleagues
  61. ^ Kupchinsky, Roman. "CIS: Monitoring The Election Monitors". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  62. ^ a b EU will not condemn the local elections in Ukraine, Razumkov Centre (3 November 2010)
  63. ^ Interview: Top U.S. Diplomat Discusses Regional Developments, Abuses, Stalemates, And Cooperation, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (5 November 2010)
  64. ^ Ukraine's Ballot Flawed, U.S. Says, The Wall Street Journal (4 November 2010)
  65. ^ Information and Publish. Department. "CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly". Retrieved 23 July 2013. 
  66. ^ "Межпарламентская Ассамблея государств - участников Содружества Независимых Государств". Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  67. ^ Yanukovych: Ukraine will not have second state language, Kyiv Post (9 March 2010)
  68. ^ Vinep A Kankam-da-Costa (2012). Who Is Fit to Rule America in the Twenty-First Century and Beyond?.  


1. ^ The Commonwealth of Independent States and the Commonwealth of Nations are also called the "Russian Commonwealth" and the "British Commonwealth" respectively to differentiate between them.[68]


See also

Country Population (2012) GDP 2007 (USD) GDP 2012 (USD) GDP growth (2012) GDP per capita (2007) GDP per capita (2012)
Belarus 9,460,000 45,275,738,770 58,215,000,000 4.3% 4,656 6,710
Kazakhstan 16,856,000 104,849,915,344 196,642,000,000 5.2% 6,805 11,700
Kyrgyzstan 5,654,800 3,802,570,572 6,197,000,000 0.8% 711 1,100
Russia 143,369,806 1,294,381,844,081 2,022,000,000,000 3.4% 9,119 14,240
Tajikistan 8,010,000 2,265,340,888 7,263,000,000 2.1% 337 900
Uzbekistan 29,874,600 22,355,214,805 51,622,000,000 4.1% 831 1,800
Azerbaijan 9,235,100 33,049,426,816 71,043,000,000 3.8% 3,829 7,500
Georgia 4,585,000 10,172,920,422 15,803,000,000 5.0% 2,334 3,400
Moldova 3,559,500 4,401,137,824 7,589,000,000 4.4% 1,200 2,100
Ukraine 45,553,000 142,719,009,901 175,174,000,000 0.2% 3,083 3,870
Armenia 3,274,300 9,204,496,419 10,551,000,000 2.1% 2,996 3,500
Turkmenistan 5,169,660 7,940,143,236 33,466,000,000 6.9% 1,595 6,100
The data is taken from the United Nations Statistics Division & CIA  [2]

Economic data

Since then, CIS members have each competed separately in international sport.

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. 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 national bandy team. The Soviet Union bandy championship for 1991–1992 was rebranded as a CIS championship.

Sports events

Russia has been urging that the Russian language receives 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 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, Viktor Yushchenko, the winner, did not do so. After his early 2010 election as President Yanukovych stated (on 9 March 2010) that "Ukraine will continue to promote the Ukrainian language as its only state language".[67]

Russian language status

The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, established in March 1995, is a consultative parliamentary wing of the CIS created to discuss problems of parliamentary cooperation.[65] The Assembly will hold its 32nd Plenary meeting in Saint Petersburg on 14 May 2009. Ukraine participates, but Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan do not participate.[66]

Inter-Parliamentary Assembly

  • The democratic nature of the final round of the Ukrainian Independent Information Agency quoted Dmytro Svystkov (a spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry) that Ukraine has suspended its participation in the CIS election monitoring organisation.
  • The CIS praised the 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".[58][59]
  • Moldovan authorities refused to invite CIS observers in the Moldovan parliamentary elections, 2005, an action Russia criticised. Many dozens such observers from Belarus and Russia were stopped from reaching Moldova.[60]
  • CIS observers monitored the 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 [61]
  • International observers of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly stated the [64][63] criticised the conduct of the elections, saying they "did not meet standards for openness and fairness".Obama administration and the [62] uncovered a number of problems in relation to a new electorate law approved just prior to the electionsCouncil of Europe While the [62]

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 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.[57]

Controversial election observation mission

Other activities

The largest military exercises ever held by the CSTO, involving up to 12,000 troops, were conducted between 19 and 27 September 2011 to raise preparedness and co-ordination in anti-destabilization techniques, to counter any attempts at popular uprisings like the Arab Spring.[56]

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.[55]

On 29 August 2008, Russia announced it would seek CSTO recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, three days after Russia officially recognised both.[53] On 5 September 2008, Armenia assumed the rotating CSTO presidency during a CSTO meeting in Moscow, Russia.[54]

On 6 October 2007, CSTO members agreed to a major expansion of the organisation which would create a CSTO peacekeeping force that could deploy under a UN 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.[51] CSTO signed an agreement with the Dushanbe, to broaden cooperation on issues such as security, crime, and drug trafficking.[52]

In May 2007, the CSTO secretary-general [50] If Iran joined, it would be the first state outside the former Soviet Union to become a member of the organisation.

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-organisation 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.[49]

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, while Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan refused to sign, and withdrew from the treaty instead; together with United Nations General Assembly.

The Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) (Russian: Организация Договора о Коллективной Безопасности) or simply the Tashkent Treaty (Russian: Ташкентский договор) first began as the CIS Collective Security Treaty[47] which was signed on 15 May 1992, by Belarus on 31 December 1993. The treaty came into effect on 20 April 1994.

  CSTO members
  GUAM members
  Other CIS members
CSTO logo.

Collective Security Treaty Organisation

A Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia was thus created in 2010,[45] with a single market envisioned for 2012.[46]

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. Yushchenko's successor Viktor Yanukovych stated on 27 April 2010 "Ukraine's entry into the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is not possible today, since the economic principles and the laws of the WTO do not allow it, we develop our policy in accordance with WTO principles".[44] Ukraine is a WTO member.[44]

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.

Common Economic Space


Organisation of Central Asian Cooperation

The Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC or EAEC) originated from a customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on 29 March 1996.[39] It was named the EAEC on 10 October 2000[40] 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 hold observer status. EurAsEC is working on establishing a common energy market and exploring the more efficient use of water in central Asia.

Eurasian Economic Community

Corruption and bureaucracy are serious problems for trade in CIS countries.[38]

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.[36] An agreement was also signed on the basic principles of currency regulation and currency controls in the CIS at the same October 2011 meeting.[37]

In 2009 a new agreement was begun to create a FTA, the CISFTA.[34] 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 at a meeting in St. Petersburg. As of 2013, it has been ratified by Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and Armenia, and is in force only between those states.[35]


In 1994, the CIS countries "agreed" to create a free trade area (FTA), but the agreements were never signed. The 1994 agreement would have covered all twelve then CIS members except Turkmenistan.[33]


Free trade area (CISFTA)

• •

Associated organisations

The chiefs of the CIS general staffs have spoken in favor of integrating their national armed forces.[32]

In December 1993, the CIS Armed Forces Headquarters was abolished.[30] 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.'[31] General Viktor Samsonov was appointed as Chief of Staff.

When Boris 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[28] on the northern outskirts of Moscow.[29] Shaposhnikov resigned in June 1993.

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.[27]

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.

Military structures

CIS members, especially in Central Asia, continue to have among the world's poorest human rights records. Many activists point to the 2005 Andijan massacre in Uzbekistan, or the cult of personality around President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan, to show that there has been almost no improvement in human rights since the collapse of the Soviet Union in Central Asia. The consolidation of power by President Vladmir 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.[26]

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.

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.[25]

Human rights

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
Meeting of CIS leaders in Bishkek, 2008.

Executive Secretaries


Country Agreement/protocol ratified Charter ratified Withdrawn Effective Membership status
 Georgia 3 December 1993 19 April 1994 18 August 2008 18 August 2009 Former member state

Former member states

Country[24] Agreement/protocol ratified Charter ratified Membership status
 Turkmenistan 26 December 1991 Not ratified Founding state and unofficial associate member
 Ukraine 10 December 1991 Not ratified Founding state which participates but is not an official member

Participating states

Country[24] Agreement/protocol ratified Charter ratified Membership status
 Armenia 18 February 1992 16 March 1994 Member state
 Azerbaijan 24 September 1993 24 September 1993 Member state
 Belarus 10 December 1991 18 January 1994 Member state
 Kazakhstan 23 December 1991 20 April 1994 Member state
 Kyrgyzstan 6 March 1992 12 April 1994 Member state
 Moldova 8 April 1994 15 April 1994 Member state
 Russia 12 December 1991 20 July 1993 Member state
 Tajikistan 26 June 1993 4 August 1993 Member state
 Uzbekistan 4 January 1992 9 February 1994 Member state

In light of Russia’s occupation of parts of Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine, as well as its violation of the Istanbul Agreement (see Adapted Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty), on March 25, 2014 Moldova also announced legislative initiatives to denounce the agreement on the creation of CIS.[21][22][23]

Although Ukraine was one of the founding countries and ratified the Creation Agreement in December 1991, Ukraine chose not to ratify the CIS Charter[13][14] as it disagrees with Russia being the only legal successor of the Soviet Union. Thus it does not regard itself as a member of the CIS.[5][15] In 1993 Ukraine became an "Associate Member" of CIS.[16] On March 14, 2014 a bill was introduced to Ukraine's parliament to denounce their ratification of the 1991 Agreement Establishing the CIS, following the Russian military intervention in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, but was never approved. [17][18][19] A new bill to cease participation in CIS was introduced in November 2014.[20]

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-recognised international neutrality status.[11][12]

The Creation Agreement remained the main constituent document of the CIS until January 1993, when the CIS Charter (Russian: Устав, Ustav) was adopted.[10] The charter formalised the concept of membership: a member country is defined as a country that ratifies the CIS Charter (sec. 2, art. 7).

There are nine full member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States.


In May 2009, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine joined the Eastern Partnership, a project which was initiated by the European Union (EU).

[9] Between 2003 and 2005, three CIS member states experienced a change of government in a series of

) participated in the CIS. Baltic States At this point, 12 former Soviet Republics (all except the [5]

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