"It all started with Georgia" - Putin on the attitude of Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova to the CIS
“With Georgia, it all started after the former Georgian President’s [Mikheil Saakashvili] failed attempts to solve some internal problems through force and attacks on South Ossetia <…> and the consequences that resulted from this adventure,” Putin said at an Oct. 13 meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State.
Regarding Ukraine, Putin said it once signed the founding document on the CIS, but in fact never joined it in its full format.
“Moldova is practically losing its identity. The elites of this country generally believe that they are not Moldovans, they call themselves Romanians. But this is their choice,” the Russian president continued.
At the same time, Putin argues that CIS countries can preserve their own identity:
“It is the choice of each of us – do we want to preserve our identity or not? And working within the CIS framework gives us such an opportunity and, on the contrary, strengthens our positions without preventing us from cooperating with each other and respecting our national peculiarities.”
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Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan did not attend the meeting of CIS leaders, while Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko emphasized the change in Armenia’s political course.
“Initially Georgia left our union, de facto Ukraine is not with us. There are big question marks regarding Moldova. Unfortunately, Armenia does not always behave in a partner-like manner.”
CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States, a regional intergovernmental organization formed in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. According to the general concept, the purpose of the organization is to regulate cooperative relations between countries: to promote cooperation in economic, political and military matters and certain powers related to the coordination of trade, finance, lawmaking and security.
The CIS consists of nine former Soviet republics: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Turkmenistan, Moldova, Armenia, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Turkmenistan withdrew from full membership on August 26, 2005 and is currently an associate member. Georgia withdrew from the CIS in August 2009.