The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS; Russian: Содружество Независимых Государств, СНГ, tr. Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv, SNG) is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery
The CIS is a loose association of states and in no way comparable to a federation, confederation or supranational unionsuch as the European Union. It is more comparable to the Commonwealth of Nations. Although the CIS has few supranational powers, it is aimed at being more than a purely symbolic organization, Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery
nominally possessing coordinating powers in the realm of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security. It has also promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention. Some of the members of the CIS have established the Eurasian Economic Community with the aim of creating a full-fledgedcommon market. Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery
The organization was founded on 8 December 1991 by the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, when the leaders of the three countries met in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Natural Reserve, about 50 km (30 miles) north ofBrest in Belarus and signed a Creation Agreement Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery
(Russian: Соглашение, Soglasheniye) on the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of CIS as a successor entity to the USSR. At the same time they announced that the new alliance would be open to all republics of the former Soviet Union, as well as other nations sharing the same goals. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery
The CIS charter stated that all the members were sovereign and independent nations and thereby effectively abolished theSoviet Union.
On 21 December 1991, the leaders of eight additional former Soviet Republics – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – signed the Alma-Ata Protocol and joined the CIS, thus bringing the number of participating countries to 11. Georgia joined two years later, in December 1993. As of that time, 12 of the 15 former Soviet Republics participated in the CIS. The three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, andLithuania – chose not to join. Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery
Between 2003 and 2005, three CIS member states experienced a change of government in a series of colour revolutions:Eduard Shevardnadze was overthrown in Georgia; Viktor Yushchenko was elected in Ukraine; and Askar Akayev was toppled in Kyrgyzstan. Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery
In February 2006, Georgia officially withdrew from the Council of Defense Ministers, with the statement that "Georgia has taken a course to join NATO and it cannot be part of two military structures simultaneously", but it remained a full member of the CIS until August 2009, Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Battery
one year after officially withdrawing in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 South Ossetia war. In March 2007, Igor Ivanov, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, expressed his doubts concerning the usefulness of the CIS, emphasizing that the Eurasian Economic Community was becoming a more competent organization to unify the largest countries of the CIS. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery
Following the withdrawal of Georgia, the presidents of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan skipped the October 2009 meeting of the CIS[why?].
In May 2009, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine joined the Eastern Partnership, a project which was initiated by the European Union (EU). Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery
There are 9 member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The Creation Agreement remained the main constituent document of the CIS until January 1993, when the CIS Charter (Russian: Устав, Ustav) was adopted. The charter formalized the concept of membership: a member country is defined as a country that ratifies the CIS Charter (sec. 2, art. 7). Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery
Turkmenistan has not ratified the charter and changed its CIS standing to associate member as of 26 August 2005 in order to be consistent with its UN-recognized international neutrality status. Although Ukraine was one of the three founding countries and ratified the Creation Agreement in December 1991, Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery
Ukraine did not choose to ratify the CIS Charter as it disagrees with Russia being the only legal successor of the Soviet Union. Thus it does not regard itself as a member of the CIS.
The CIS Charter establishes the Council of Ministers of Defense, which is vested with the task of coordinating military cooperation of the CIS member states. Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery
To this end, the Council develops conceptual approaches to the questions of military and defense policy of the CIS member states; develops proposals aimed to prevent armed conflicts on the territory of the member states or with their participation; gives expert opinions on draft treaties and agreements related to the questions of defense and military developments; Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery
issues related suggestions and proposals to the attention of the CIS Council of the Heads of State. Also important is the Council's work on approximation of the legal acts in the area of defense and military development.
An important manifestation of integration processes in the area of military and defense collaboration of the CIS member states is the creation, Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery
in 1995, of the joint CIS Air Defense System. Over the years, the military personnel of the joint CIS Air Defense System grew twofold along the western, European border of the CIS, and by 1.5 times, on its southern borders. 
When Boris Yeltsin became Russian Defence Minister on 7 May 1992, Yevgeny Shaposhnikov, Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery
the man appointed as Commander-in-Chief of the CIS Armed Forces, and his staff, were ejected from the MOD and General Staff buildings and given offices in the former Warsaw Pact Headquarters at 41 Leningradsky Prospekt on the northern outskirts of Moscow. Shaposhnikov resigned in June 1993. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery
In December 1993, the CIS Armed Forces Headquarters was abolished. Instead, 'the CIS Council of Defence Ministers created a CIS Military Cooperation Coordination Headquarters (MCCH) in Moscow, with 50 per cent of the funding provided by Russia.' General Viktor Samsonov was appointed as Chief of Staff. Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery
The chiefs of the CIS general staffs have spoken in favor of integrating their national armed forces.
In 1994, the CIS countries agreed to create a free trade area, but the agreements were never signed, so in 2009 a new agreement was achieved to create an FTA by the beginning of 2011. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery
The 1994 agreement would have covered all twelve then CIS members except Turkmenistan. In October 2011, the new free trade agreement was finally achieved and then signed by eight of the eleven CIS states; Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Ukraine at a meeting in St. Petersburg. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery
An agreement was also signed by the CIS prime ministers on the basic principles of currency regulation and currency controls in the CIS at the same meeting. The only CIS states not to sign up to the free trade agreement were Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery
which will consider signing the agreement later and had requested few weeks to consider the agreement. The agreement itself had been worked out in May 2011 but the signing had been delayed in order to allow for the resolution of disputes by some Asian members of the CIS. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery
The free trade agreement will eliminate export and import duties on a number of goods but also contains a number of exemptions that will ultimately be phased out. However, corruption and bureaucracy are serious problems for trade in CIS countries.
The Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC or EAEC) originated from a customs union between Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on the 29 March 1996. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery
It was named the EAEC on 10 October 2000 when Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan signed the treaty. EurAsEC was formally created when the treaty was finally ratified by all five member states in May 2001. Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine hold observer status. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery
EurAsEC is working on establishing a common energy market and exploring the more efficient use of water in central Asia.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan formed the OCAC in 1991 as Central Asian Commonwealth (CAC). Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery
The organization continued in 1994 as the Central Asian Economic Union (CAEU), in which Tajikistan and Turkmenistan did not participate. In 1998 it became the Central Asian Economic Cooperation (CAEC), which marked the return of Tajikistan. On 28 February 2002 it was renamed to its current name. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery
Russia joined on 28 May 2004.On 7 October 2005 it was decided between the member states that Uzbekistan will join[ the Eurasian Economic Community and that the organizations will merge.The organizations joined on 25 January 2006. It is not clear what will happen to the status of current CACO observers that are not observers to EurAsEC (Georgia and Turkey). Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery
After discussion about the creation of a common economic space between the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, andKazakhstan, agreement in principle about the creation of this space was announced after a meeting in the Moscow suburb of Novo-Ogarevo on 23 February 2003. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery
The Common Economic Space would involve a supranational commission on trade and tariffs that would be based in Kiev, would initially be headed by a representative of Kazakhstan, and would not be subordinate to the governments of the four nations. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery
The ultimate goal would be a regional organisation that would be open for other countries to join as well, and could eventually lead even to a single currency.
On 22 May 2003 The Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) voted 266 votes in favour and 51 against the joint economic space. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery
However, most believe thatViktor Yushchenko's victory in the Ukrainian presidential election of 2004 was a significant blow against the project: Yushchenko has shown renewed interest in Ukrainian membership in the European Union, and such membership would be incompatible with the envisioned common economic space. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery
Yushchenko's successor Viktor Yanukovych stated on April 27, 2010 "Ukraine's entry into the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is not possible today, since the economic principles and the laws of the WTO do not allow it, we develop our policy in accordance with WTO principles". Ukraine is a WTO member. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery
A Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia was thus created in 2010, with a single market envisioned for 2012.
The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) (Russian: Организация Договора о Коллективной Безопасности) or simply the Tashkent TreatySony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery
(Russian: Ташкентский договор) first began as the CIS Collective Security Treaty which was signed on 15 May 1992, by Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistanand Uzbekistan, in the city of Tashkent. Azerbaijan signed the treaty on 24 September 1993, Sony VAIO PCG-51112M Battery
Georgia on 9 December 1993 and Belaruson 31 December 1993. The treaty came into effect on 20 April 1994.
The CST was set to last for a 5-year period unless extended. On 2 April 1999, only six members of the CSTO signed a protocol renewing the treaty for another five year period, Sony VAIO PCG-51211M Battery
while Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan refused to sign, and withdrew from the treaty instead; together with Moldova and Ukraine, formed a non-aligned, more pro-Western pro-US group known as the "GUAM"(Georgia, Uzbekistan / Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova). The organization was named CSTO on 7 October 2002 in Tashkent. Sony VAIO PCG-51212M Battery
Nikolai Bordyuzha was appointed secretary general of the new organization. During 2005, the CSTO partners conducted some common military exercises. In 2005, Uzbekistan withdrew from GUAM, and on 23 June 2006, Uzbekistan became a full participant in the CSTO and its membership was formally ratified by its parliament on 28 March 2008. Sony VAIO PCG-41111M Battery
The CSTO is an observer organization at the United Nations General Assembly.
The charter reaffirmed the desire of all participating states to abstain from the use or threat of force. Signatories would not be able to join other military alliances or other groups of states, while aggression against one signatory would be perceived as an aggression against all. Sony VAIO PCG-41111V Battery
To this end, the CSTO holds yearly military command exercises for the CSTO nations to have an opportunity to improve inter-organization cooperation. The largest-scale CSTO military exercise held to date were the "Rubezh 2008" exercises hosted in Armenia where a combined total of 4,000 troops from all 7 constituent CSTO member countries conducted operative, Sony VAIO PCG-61412V Battery
strategic, and tactical training with an emphasis towards furthering efficiency of the collective security element of the CSTO partnership.
In May 2007 the CSTO secretary-general Nikolai Bordyuzha suggested Iran could join the CSTO saying, "The CSTO is an open organization. Sony VAIO PCG-71112M Battery
If Iran applies in accordance with our charter, we will consider the application." If Iran joined, it would be the first state outside the former Soviet Union to become a member of the organization.
On 6 October 2007, CSTO members agreed to a major expansion of the organization which would create a CSTO peacekeeping force that could deploy under a U.N. Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
mandate or without one in its member states. The expansion would also allow all members to purchase Russian weapons at the same price as Russia. CSTO signed an agreement with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, to broaden cooperation on issues such as security, crime, and drug trafficking. Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery
On 29 August 2008, Russia announced it would seek CSTO recognition of the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, three days after Russia officially recognized both. On 5 September 2008, Armenia assumed the rotating CSTO presidency during a CSTO meeting in Moscow, Russia. Sony VAIO PCG-81212M Battery
In October 2009 Ukraine refused permission for the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center to hold anti-terrorist exercises on its territory because Ukraine's constitution bans foreign military units from operating on its territory.
The largest military exercises ever held by the CSTO, Sony VAIO PCG-81212V Battery
involving up to 12,000 troops were conducted between September 19 and 27, 2011 to raise preparedness and co-ordination in Arab Spring style anti-destabilization techniques.
The CIS Election Monitoring Organization (Russian: Миссия наблюдателей от СНГ на выборах) is an election monitoring body that was formed in October 2002, Sony VAIO PCG-51111M Battery
following a Commonwealth of Independent States heads of states meeting which adopted the Convention on the Standards of Democratic Elections, Electoral Rights, and Freedoms in the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The CIS-EMO has been sending election observers to member countries of the CIS since this time; Sony VAIO VPCS13X9E/B battery
they approved many elections which have been heavily criticised by independent observers.
The democratic nature of the final round of the Ukrainian presidential election, 2004 which followed the Orange Revolution and brought into power the former opposition, Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery
was questioned by the CIS while the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) found no significant problems. This was the first time ever that the CIS observation teams challenged the validity of an election, saying that it should be considered illegitimate. Sony VAIO VPCF13M8E/B battery
On 15 March 2005, theUkrainian Independent Information Agency quoted Dmytro Svystkov (a spokesman of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry) that Ukraine has suspended its participation in the CIS election monitoring organization.
The CIS praised the Uzbekistan parliamentary elections, 2005 as "legitimate, Sony VAIO VPCF13Z0E/B battery
free and transparent" while the OSCE had referred to the Uzbek elections as having fallen "significantly short of OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections".
Moldovan authorities refused to invite CIS observers in the Moldovan parliamentary elections, 2005, an action Russia criticized.Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/L battery
Many dozens such observers from Belarus and Russia were stopped from reaching Moldova.
CIS observers monitored the Tajikistan parliamentary elections, 2005 and in the end declared them "legal, free and transparent."Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/W battery
The same elections were pronounced by the OSCE to have failed international standards for democratic elections.
Soon after CIS observers hailed the Kyrgyz parliamentary elections of 2005 as "well-organized, free, and fair", Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery
a large-scale and often violent demonstrations broke out throughout the country protesting what the opposition called a rigged parliamentary election. In contrast the OSCE reported that the elections fell short of international standards in many areas.
International observers of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly stated the 2010 local elections in Ukraine were organised well. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery
While the Council of Europeuncovered a number of problems in relation to a new electorate law approved just prior to the elections and the Obama administration criticized the conduct of the elections, saying they "did not meet standards for openness and fairness".Sony VAIO VPCF13M0E/B battery
The Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, established in March 1995, is a consultative parliamentary wing of the CIS created to discuss problems of parliamentary cooperation. The Assembly will hold its 32nd Plenary meeting in Saint Petersburg on 14 May 2009. Ukraine participates, but Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan do not participate. Sony VAIO VPCYB2M1E battery
Russia has been urging that the Russian language receives official status in all of the CIS member states. So far Russian is an official language in only four of these states: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Russian is also considered an official language in the region of Transnistria, and the autonomous region of Gagauzia in Moldova. Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E battery
Viktor Yanukovych, the Moscow-supported presidential candidate in the controversial 2004 Ukrainian presidential election, declared his intention to make Russian an official second language of Ukraine. However, Viktor Yushchenko, the winner, did not do so. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E battery
After his early 2010 election as President Yanukovych stated (on March 9, 2010) that "Ukraine will continue to promote the Ukrainian language as its only state language".
At the time of the Soviet Union's dissolution in December 1991, its sports teams had been invited to or qualified for various 1992 sports events. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B battery
A joint CIS team took its place in some of these. The "Unified Team" competed in the 1992 Winter Olympics and 1992 Summer Olympics, and a CIS association football teamcompeted in UEFA Euro 1992. Since then, CIS members have each competed separately in international sport. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery
The post-Soviet states, also commonly known as the former Soviet Union (FSU)or former Soviet republics, are the 15 independent states that seceded from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in its dissolution in December 1991. They were also referred to as the Newly Independent States (NIS), Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E/R Battery
notwithstanding that the Baltic states consider themselves to have resumed their pre–World War II sovereignty upon their separation from the Soviet Union.
The 15 post-Soviet states are typically divided into the following five groupings. Each of these regions has its own common set of traits, Sony VAIO VPCF23P1E Battery
owing not only to geographic and cultural factors but also to that region's history in relation toRussia. In addition, there are a number of de facto independent, but internationally unrecognized states
The dissolution of the Soviet Union took place as a result and against the backdrop of general economic stagnation, even regression. Sony VAIO VPCF23N1E Battery
As the Gosplan, which had set up production chains to cross SSR lines, broke down, the inter-republic economic connections were also disrupted, leading to even more serious breakdown of the post-Soviet economies.
Most of the formerly Soviet states began the transition to a market economy in 1990-1991 and made efforts to rebuild and restructure their economic systems, with varying results. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery
The process triggered a severe transition decline, with Gross Domestic Product (GDP) dropping by more than 40% between 1990 and 1995.This decline in GDP was much more intense than the 27% decline that the United States suffered in the wake of the Great Depression between 1930 and 1934. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/G battery
The reconfiguration of public finance in compliance with the principles of market economy resulted in dramatically reduced spending on health, education and other social programs, leading to a sharp increase in poverty.
The initial transition decline was eventually arrested by the cumulative effect of market reforms, Sony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery
and after 1995 the economy in the post-Soviet states began to recover, with GDP switching from negative to positive growth rates. By 2007, 10 of the 15 post-Soviet states had reached GDP greater than what they had in 1991. Only Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan had GDP significantly below the 1991 level. HP Compaq HSTNN-105C Battery
The recovery in Russia was marginal, with GDP in 2006-2007 just nudging above the 1991 level. This could be perceived as failure of capitalism to improve the standard of living in Russia, and combined with the aftershocks of the 1998 economic crisis it led to a return of more interventionist economic policies by Vladimir Putin's administration. HP Compaq HSTNN-C12C Battery
A number of regional organizations and cooperating blocs have sprung up since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Only organizations that are mainly (or completely) composed of post-Soviet states are listed in this section; organizations with wider memberships are not discussed. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C Battery
The 15 post-Soviet states are divided in their participation to the regional blocs:
Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine founded the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in December 1991. It was conceived as a successor organization to the USSR, and as of December 1993 it included 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics (except the three Baltic states). HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-4 Battery
The three Baltic states have not sought membership to any of these post-Soviet organizations, seeking and achieving membership in the European Union and NATO instead (only their electricity and rail systems remain closely connected with former Soviet organizations). HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-5 Battery
The sole exception to the above has been their recent membership in the Community of Democratic Choice.
The Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan (as well as Belarus) are members of the CIS and participate in several regional organizations that have Russia as a primary mover. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C Battery
Such organizations are the Eurasian Economic Community (merged with Central Asian Cooperation Organization), Collective Security Treaty Organization, and theShanghai Cooperation Organization. The last two groups only became distinct once Uzbekistan withdrew from GUAM and sought membership in EurAsEc and CSTO. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-4 Battery
Armenia besides its membership in CIS participates in Collective Security Treaty Organization only.
Ukraine, Moldova, and Azerbaijan participate in the CIS but other than that they mostly cooperate within regional organizations that are not dominated by Russia. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-5 Battery
Such organizations are GUAM and the Community of Democratic Choice. Although Ukraine is one of the three founding countries of the CIS, it is legally not a member because it has never ratified the 1993 CIS Charter.
Turkmenistan is an associate member of CIS (having withdrawn from full membership in August 2005) and a member in the Economic Cooperation Organization; HP Compaq HSTNN-DB05 Battery
it has not sought closer integration in any of the other Western or post-Soviet organizations.
Georgia notified (on August 18, 2008) the CIS executive organs of its decision to leave the regional organization,and according to the CIS Charter (sec. 1, art. 9) this decision will come into force 12 months after the notification date. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB06 Battery
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) consists of 11 former Soviet Republics that differ in their membership status. As of December 2010, 9 countries have ratified the CIS charter and are full CIS members (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan), HP Compaq HSTNN-DB0E Battery
one country (Turkmenistan) is an associate member, one country (Ukraine) is a founding and participating country, but legally not a member country, and one country (Georgia) left the organization in 2009.
The Eurasian Economic Community (EURASEC) was established by Russia, HP Compaq HSTNN-DB11 Battery
Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, having grown out of the CIS Customs Union. Ukraine and Moldova have observer status in the community; however, Ukraine has declared its desire not to become a full member state. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB28 Battery
Because having common borders with the rest of the community is a prerequisite for full membership, Moldova is barred from seeking it. Uzbekistan applied for membership in October 2005 , when the process of merging Central Asian Cooperation Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community began; it joined on 25 January 2006. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB29 Battery
Seven CIS member states, namely Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,Uzbekistan and Armenia, have enhanced their military cooperation, establishing the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), this being an expansion of the previous Collective Security Treaty (CST). HP Compaq HSTNN-DB67 Battery
Uzbekistan which (alongside Georgia and Azerbaijan) withdrew from the CST in 1999, joined GUAM. Then in 2005 it withdrew from GUAM and currently it is again seeking closer ties with Russia (thus in 2006 it has joined EurAsEc and later CSTO). CSTO and EurAsEc are closely related organizations. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB05 Battery
Three former Soviet states are members of NATO; Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Georgia, where both public opinion and the ruling government favor NATO membership, is in the Intensified Dialogue program with NATO. In Ukraine after the 2009 electoral victory of Viktor Yanukovych, HP Compaq HSTNN-FB18 Battery
the government officially declared neutrality and no longer seeks NATO membership, as it did after theOrange revolution and the presidency of Viktor Yushchenko.
Four member states, namely Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldovaestablished the GUAM group that was largely seen as intending to counter Russian dominance in the region. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB51 Battery
Notably, these four nations do not participate in any of the other regional organizations that sprang up in the region since the dissolution of the Soviet Union (other than the CIS).
The Union of Russia and Belarus was originally formed on April 2, 1996 under the name Commonwealth of Russia and Belarus,HP Compaq HSTNN-FB52 Battery
before being tightened further on December 8, 1999. It was initiated by the president of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko. On paper, the Union of Russia and Belarus intends further integration, beyond the scope of mere cooperation, including the introduction of theruble as a common currency. HP Compaq HSTNN-I04C Battery
The Economic Cooperation Organization was originally formed in 1985 by Turkey, Iran and Pakistan but in 1992 the organization was expanded to include Afghanistan and the six primarily Muslim former Soviet republics: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. HP Compaq HSTNN-I12C Battery
The Community of Democratic Choice (CDC) was formed in December 2005 at the primary instigation of Ukraine and Georgia, and composed of six post-Soviet states (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and the three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) and three other countries of Eastern Europe (Slovenia, Romania and the Republic of Macedonia). HP Compaq HSTNN-I39C Battery
The Black Sea Forum (BSF) is a closely related organization.
Just like GUAM before it, this forum is largely seen as intending to counteract Russian influence in the area. This is the only international forum centered in the post-Soviet space in which the Baltic states also participate. HP Compaq HSTNN-I40C Battery
In addition, the other three post-Soviet states in it are all members of GUAM.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), is composed of China and five post-Soviet states, namely Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The organization was founded in 2001, HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C Battery
though its predecessor, the Shanghai Five grouping, has existed since 1996. Its aims revolve around security-related issues.
Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) with Moldova (it includes also non post-Soviet countries of the former Yugoslavia; HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-A Battery
previously, also included other Central European countries that left CEFTA when joining the European Union ; CEFTA plays a role in Central Europe similar to what EFTA provides in Western Europe for non EU-members; this alliance an economical organization with strong cooperation with the European Union, HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-B Battery
for countries that do not want to participage in EurAsEC centered on Russia but that are seeking alliances to the West); even if Moldova is the only CEFTA country that is still within a weakening CIS, it no longer participates to the CSTO for most of the common security policy HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C Battery
(but cannot join the EU because of incompatibility with WEU stability rules and the unsolved problem of Transnistria) but can still benefit from the Free Trade Area notably with Romania and Bulgaria (in the EU).
Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) with Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova, HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-A Battery
Turkey, Albania, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Armenia (an economic organisation closely related to the SCO but more focused regionally to include also Armenia; it also aims for the hamonious development of democracy for increasing the commerce in South-East Europe and includes some EU members, so it cannot be a regional free-trade union). HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-B Battery
The European Union (EU) with the three Baltic countries that were the first ones to declare independence from the former USSR and have never joined CIS after the collapse of USSR (it includes also now some post-communist countries in Central and Eastern Europe, that have left CEFTA when entering the EU : HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-A Battery
Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia)
Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe (SPforSEE) with Moldova (similar in structure to CEFTA, but does not focus on economy but security, for those countries that are not NATO members ); HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-B Battery
this organization largely cooperates with NATO, and is related to the group of observers at Western European Union(WEU).
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), for Baltic countries, Poland, and Central European countries that have also joined the EU HP Compaq HSTNN-I49C Battery
(the EU membership includes also WEU membership because they follow the Common Foreign and Security Policy and European Security and Defence Policy policies shared now by the EU, the WEU and all European NATO members).
The other remaining countries are those part of the former Yugoslavia, HP Compaq HSTNN-I50C-B Battery
but their recent conflict and political tensions still does not allow them to cooperate efficiently for their political integration and for their mutual security; in addition, they still do not have full sovereignty in this domain (some of them are still under surveillance by EU or NATO, as mandated by UNO). HP Compaq HSTNN-I54C Battery
They still need to find an internal stability and they can collaborate economically with the help of other organizations focusing on economy or political cooperation and development. However a more limited cooperation for security is possible through their membership to the larger Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). HP Compaq HSTNN-I64C-5 Battery
The only exception is Belarus (whose post-soviet democratic transition did not occur) that still rejects political integration, and all security alliances with NATO, OSCE, WEU or other countries in Europe other than Russia (which the process of reintegration of Belarus has been tightened in almost all domains). HP Compaq HSTNN-I65C-5 Battery
Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) with Moldova (similar to SPforSEE, but focuses on political integration than cooperation for security, and to CEFTA but does not focus on trade).
Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) with Moldova (closely related to SEECP). HP Compaq HSTNN-IB05 Battery
Central European Initiative (CEI) with Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus (and also Central and South-Western European countries in the European Union; it aims at helping Central European countries to reach the EU standards and cooperate politically and find a better economic development and a strong, working but more democratic legal system); HP Compaq HSTNN-IB08 Battery
it is the only regional organization where Belarus is still a member (but the political cooperation with Belarus is almost stalled, as it is the only Central European country that balances in favor of stronger cooperation with Russia and against integration with EU and NATO ; HP Compaq HSTNNIB12 Battery
however Belarus remains isolated and still does not cooperate too in the SCO group led by Russia and China).