What is the CIS? What are the objectives of this international organization? And how close is cooperation in the Russia-CIS system? This will be discussed in this article.

History of the organization

The CIS is a voluntary international organization in Eurasia, established to strengthen cooperation between states. The abbreviation stands for "Commonwealth of Independent States". Which states are members of the CIS? Countries that once belonged to the former USSR formed the backbone of this international organization.

CIS: countries and organization

The creation of the organization was attended by the leaders of three countries - Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The corresponding agreement was signed by them in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in December 1991. By the same step it was recognized that the Soviet Union, as a state entity, ceased to exist. So the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was born.

Countries were part of this organization on the principle of common history, common roots and closeness of cultures. And the main goal of the future organization was the desire to develop and deepen the relationship between the young sovereign countries.

Five days after the meeting in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the heads of five states of Central Asia announced their intention to join the Commonwealth on an equal footing. The main postulates of the organization's activities were declared by its members on December 21, 1991 in Almaty. The latter were joined by Georgia (in 1993) and Moldova (in 1994). And in January 1993 the Charter was approved in Minsk - the main document of this Eurasian organization.

CIS countries: list

At the moment, the organization has 9 members. What countries are in the CIS today?

According to the Charter of the organization, CIS members are considered only those countries that have ratified the agreement on its creation. It is worth noting that some of the participating countries (in particular, Russia and Ukraine) have not implemented this formality. Therefore, they can not be considered as members of the CIS purely legally (on paper).

Countries that are members of the organization are listed below. All of them, to a greater or lesser extent, have contributed to the development of this structure. So, the CIS countries (list):

Two more states (this Turkmenistan and Ukraine) have the status of "observers" in this organization.

In 2009, due to the conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia leaves the Commonwealth. In the fall of 2014, the process of withdrawing from the CIS was initiated by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

Among other things, the desire to join the organization was expressed also by those states that had nothing to do with the USSR. In particular, we are talking about Mongolia and Afghanistan. Today these countries are observers in individual bodies of the Commonwealth.

Structure and main objectives of CIS activities

A modern structure of the Commonwealth is represented by several dozens of different bodies. All important decisions are discussed and adopted by the Council of CIS Heads of State. To date, the head of this Council is Nursultan Nazarbayev.

At the heart of the activities of an international organization is the principle of equality of its participants. The main objectives of the CIS activities include the following:

  • close economic, political, as well as cultural interaction between countries;
  • monitoring of the observance of human rights in all states;
  • provision of mutual legal assistance;
  • assistance in the peaceful settlement of all conflicts and disputes between the CIS member countries.

Russia and CIS countries

Russia has been working closely with the Commonwealth since the very first year of the organization's existence. Moreover, it is one of the three founders of the CIS.

Cooperation in the "Russia-CIS" system is carried out in the following areas:

  • industry;
  • agro-industrial complex;
  • building complex;
  • transport system and communications;
  • science and higher education;
  • trade and finance;
  • military-defense complex;
  • security issues and the fight against terrorism.

With all the CIS countries, Russia has introduced a visa-free regime. The annual trade turnover between Russia and the Commonwealth countries is approximately $ 50 billion. Within the framework of the organization's activities, close cultural ties between its members that have developed over many years of common history are also maintained.


The Commonwealth of Independent States is an international organization of regional scope. Members of the CIS are countries that were formerly part of the USSR. This international organization was established in December 1991, in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, immediately after the collapse of a powerful superpower.