Russia, Ukraine Argue About Future of CIS

May 9 2005

Russia, Ukraine Argue About Future of CIS


Russian President Vladimir Putin at an informal summit of the
Commonwealth of Independent States on Sunday urged the leaders of the
12-member club of ex-Soviet states to preserve the troubled
organization, as Ukraine’s Viktor Yushchenko said there was little
use for the CIS without major reform, Associated Press reported.

At a summit held the day before commemorations of the 60th
anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, Putin said the grouping of
ex-Soviet republics had a key role in combating the spread of
terrorism, extremism and xenophobia and fostering peace.

`For all of us it is obvious that Nazism, extremism and terrorism are
threats feeding on a single ideological source, a terrible threat,
against which we are obliged to defend our unique and peaceful
commonwealth,’ Putin said referring to a U.N. call, adding that the
CIS could help with such work.

The meeting convened amid growing questions about the viability of
the CIS, which brings reformist leaders together with entrenched
Soviet-era dictators following the popular uprisings against regimes
in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said after the summit there was
`little use’ at present for the CIS but its members still needed an
organization that would focus on economic integration and avoid
interfering in the politics of its members.

Putin himself in March questioned the body’s usefulness, saying it
had been created for a `civilized divorce’ of Soviet republics,
unlike the European Union, which worked to pull its members closer

In a reflection of the disputes between the member countries, two of
the leaders, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and Azerbaijani
President Ilham Aliev, did not attend.

Saakashvili is also staying away from Monday’s Victory in Europe Day
celebration in Moscow, because Georgia failed to win agreement last
week on the removal of Russian bases it regards as a legacy of
Moscow’s imperial domination.

Aliev was boycotting because of the attendance of Armenian President
Robert Kocharian, and because Sunday is a day of mourning, marking a
key battle during the six-year war between Armenia and Azerbaijan
over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The CIS was born out of the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, and
its advocates hoped it would foster closer integration between the
newly independent countries. Many of its initiatives have foundered,
however, including plans to remove trade barriers that have dominated
the CIS agenda since its creation – and it has long been criticized
for being little more than a talking shop.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

You may also like