Russia's Sochi hosts CIS summit

Russia's Sochi hosts CIS summit

Leaders of several former Soviet republics gathered in the Russian city of Sochi today for summits of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EES).

Russian President Vladimir Putin was hosting the meetings of the organizations, which he uses to try to maintain influence in a region where various conflicting interests are at play 26 years after the Soviet collapse.

Before the CIS summit got under way, Putin met with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, who handed him a large Central Asian Shepherd puppy as a birthday gift.

Putin was also meeting with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev ahead of the CIS summit.

After the CIS summit, leaders of the EES member-states - Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia - were to meet later on October 11 for a session of what they call the Supreme Economic Council of the organization.

Earlier, Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said that the summit’s agenda envisages behind-closed-doors and wider meetings and the signing of final documents.

"There are five main issues on the agenda. Nineteen documents are ready for signature," Ushakov said. "In 2018 Tajikistan will take over the CIS presidency from Russia."

Matters related to the next CIS summit will be discussed. "It is expected to be held in Dushanbe in the first half of October 2018," he added.

"The leaders will exchange views on key issues of cooperation within the Commonwealth. Special attention will be focused on further steps to boost the efficiency of the organization, its executive structures and sectoral agencies. It is expected that presidency in 2018 will be passed over from Russia to Tajikistan," the Kremlin said.

"It is planned to sign a number of multilateral documents, namely on expanding cooperation in the cultural-and-humanitarian, law enforcement and military spheres, as well as a statement in support of the institution of family and traditional family values," the Kremlin added.

In the second half of the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin will take part in a session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. "The agenda includes topical issues of cooperation within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), including the process of ratification of the Agreement on the EAEU Customs Code. It is planned to pass resolutions on the implementation of the ‘digital agenda,’ on the development of cooperation in the areas of space and geo-information services. It is expected to adopt basic guidelines for the EAEU’s international activities and to discuss a number of organizational matters. It will also be announced that the presidency in the Eurasian Economic Union in 2018 will pass over to Russia," TASS cited the press service as saying.

"On October 11, Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold a meeting of the CIS heads of state. The presidents of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have confirmed participation," Ushakov added. Kyrgyzstan will be represented by its prime minister, as President Almazbek Atambayev is involved in preparations for the presidential election due on October 15.

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