Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization that brings together sovereign states. Formed in 1991, the organization currently includes states like Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. The member states, while forming the organization, declared their interaction on the basis of sovereign equality. The CIS is a regional organization whose formation was triggered by the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Commonwealth of Independent States was formed when the elected leaders of three nations; Russia, Belarus and Ukraine signed an agreement to form a new association that would take the place of the former United Soviet Socialist Republics. It after signing the agreement that these three nations were subsequently joined by the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the others mentioned above. Among the nations that made up the former Soviet Union, there are three that declined to be part of the organization. These include Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The Commonwealth Independent States officially began operations in January 1992. The organization designated the city of Minsk, Belarus to act as its administrative center. This association of states was created with the aim of not only being a symbolic union but also one that exercises coordinating powers in trade, finance, security and law making. Besides, it has also been instrumental in the promotion of cooperation when it comes to the prevention of crime across the borders of member states. In order to come up with a fully-fledged common market, some of the member states have moved forward to form the Eurasian Economic Community.
The main functions of the CIS are to foster coordination of the policies of member states with regards to foreign relations, economies, immigration policies, defense, environmental protection and law enforcement. These are aimed at enhancing economic, social and political stability amongst the member states. However, this may not have been effectively achieved since just seven years after the formation of the organization, one of the member states; Georgia withdrew. The withdrawal of Georgia in 2009 was as a result of the hostilities that escalated between her and Russia that is still a member of the CIS.
The top governing body of the Commonwealth of Independent States is a council that is made up of the heads of states of the member states. These include the presidents and prime ministers of the states that form the organization. They are assisted by the committees of cabinet ministers from the member states in key areas like defense and economics.
When coming together, the member states made a pledge to keep all their armed forces and nuclear weapons in one station with a single unified command. However, this did not work well as planned. The integration of the countries that are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States is executed through its coordinating institutions that include executive bodies, charter bodies and the organs of branch cooperation of the CIS.
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