Eurasian integration becomes powerful symbol of CIS strengthening
On December 21, 1991 the heads of eleven sovereign states - Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - signed the Almaty Declaration, which has fixed the objectives and principles of the CIS activities. In December 1993, Georgia joined the Commonwealth, which, however, withdrew from it in 2008.
Results of the 25th anniversary of the CIS were summed up by the First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov: "When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the CIS has been formed, it seemed that everything will remain the same. No one realized that it was the beginning of the "divorce", which lasted for many years. Thank God that it was not the Yugoslav option, that it was peaceful. At first, not knowing what had happened, we closed ourselves in our national flats. The first 10 years of the CIS formation were very difficult. Many independent states said that the CIS is likely finished - there were fewer topics for discussion every time; decisions taken at the summits were not implemented, and rather declarative. We were predicted a quick death, but then common sense prevailed, the CIS alive, and I'm glad about it".
According to Dzhabarov, the CIS is now stronger than it has ever been. "Only Georgia left the CIS, other founding countries of the CIS have remained, although in different forms of participation. We have the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, many countries are involved there. Uzbekistan is not involved in the particular. But we observed the presidential elections in Uzbekistan and have seen a clear interest of our Uzbek partners in the resumption of inter-parliamentary contacts. The format is not defined yet, but we hope for the best," the senator said.
According to him, the Eurasian integration has become a powerful symbol of the CIS strengthening: "It started with the signing of a tripartite agreement between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. Now Armenia and Kyrgyzstan joined it. The process is very complicated, but the process within the CIS is on track. The main loss for this period was Ukraine. Although Ukraine did not withdraw from the CIS ... We can not imagine that we can split up and become complete strangers. Sometimes friends from other republics call me and ask: "What time will today [football] match starts?" And it's about Russian team. That is nice to hear".