Commonwealth of Independent States

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Group.png Commonwealth of Independent States  

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a regional intergovernmental organisation in Eurasia. The CIS was formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It covers an area of 20,368,759 km2 (7,864,422 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 239,796,010. The CIS encourages cooperation in economic, political, and military affairs and has certain powers relating to the coordination of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security, including cross-border crime prevention.[1]

As the Soviet Union disintegrated, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine signed the Belovezha Accords on 8 December 1991, declaring that the Union had effectively ceased to exist and proclaimed the CIS in its place. On 21 December 1991, the Alma-Ata Protocol was signed. The Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) chose not to participate. Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008 following the Russo-Georgian War. Ukraine formally ended its participation in CIS statutory bodies in 2018, although it had stopped participating in the organization in 2014 following the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. Following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine starting from 24 February 2022, Moldova voiced its intention to progressively withdraw from the CIS institutional framework.[2]

Eight of the nine CIS member states participate in the CIS Free Trade Area. Three organisations originated from the CIS, namely the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the Eurasian Economic Union (alongside subdivisions, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Space); 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 and Belarus with a common government, currency, and so on.

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