Military Review

Is there a future for the CIS? Anniversary Summit in Bishkek

This year, twenty-five years is being celebrated by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). On this occasion, 16 September 2016 was held in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, a traditional meeting of the CIS heads of state. Recall that the CIS appeared after the heads of the RSFSR, Ukraine and Belarus signed the “Agreement on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States” in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Later, the head of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev called on the heads of the republics to gather in Almaty for a more specific discussion of integration issues. The meeting was attended by the heads of eleven republics - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine. The three Baltic republics and Georgia did not participate in the meeting.

The meeting resulted in the signing of the December 21 1991 of the Alma-Ata Declaration. The CIS countries emphasized their readiness to create a common economic space, and the unified command of the strategic armed forces remained. In 1993, Georgia became part of the CIS, but then the country again left the ranks of the Commonwealth of Independent States. As for the Baltic states, they initially demonstrated their unwillingness to participate in any integration processes and took a hostile position towards the Russian Federation, completely reorienting themselves to the United States and NATO.

Then there was still hope that the CIS will become to some extent a successor to the USSR and within its framework the countries of the Commonwealth will strengthen economic, military-strategic, and cultural relations. However, the actual practice of two and a half post-Soviet decades has shown that every year the former republics of the Soviet Union are further and further distancing themselves from each other. Since then, many political conflicts have occurred in the post-Soviet space, some of them even took the form of armed confrontation. Relations between some countries - participants of the CIS turned out to be spoiled, which could not but affect the functioning of the institutions of the organization - to a greater degree formal. For example, can Armenia and Azerbaijan seriously integrate, or, after the well-known events in the Donbas, Russia and Ukraine?

Is there a future for the CIS? Anniversary Summit in Bishkek

Nevertheless, on Friday in Bishkek, representatives of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States gathered in Bishkek. The capitals of Kyrgyzstan did not receive high-ranking guests for the first time - this is the third meeting of the CIS summit in Bishkek. However, at the summit, as expected, far from all the heads of the CIS countries arrived. For example, the leaders of Ukraine, Moldova and Turkmenistan traditionally refused to participate in the summit, having sent their representatives. This is due to several reasons. In Moldova, there is a difficult political situation now, so the president chose not to leave the country. Ukraine and Turkmenistan have never signed the charter of the CIS, so from a legal point of view they cannot be considered members of this organization, although they take part in its activities. Therefore, the Prime Minister arrived from Moldova, and the Deputy Prime Minister from Turkmenistan. Ukraine was represented at the lowest level by the country's ambassador to Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan was represented by the Foreign Minister - but everything is clear here, because President Islam Karimov recently passed away, and Acting Head of State Shavkat Mirziyoyev is now preparing for the upcoming presidential elections.

The fact that the summit would not be very simple was clear even before it began. The specificity of the political and economic processes taking place in the post-Soviet space is such that sooner or later it would be worth asking a question about the future prospects of the existence of the Commonwealth of Independent States, about the meaning and direction of the integration processes. The initiative to review the activities of the CIS was Kazakhstan. As you know, Kazakhstan is one of the few post-Soviet states that can boast a relatively high level of economic development and political stability by the standards of the former USSR. For this, the country is certainly worthy of every respect, like its leader Nursultan Nazarbayev - the last, after the death of Islam Karimov, the “old-timers” of the post-Soviet political Olympus. This time, Kazakhstan spoke in favor of reducing the CIS apparatus, as well as retaining only “strong” political and military issues in the competence of the discussion of the heads of state of the Commonwealth.

According to Nursultan Nazarbayev, which he expressed before, many of the hopes placed on the Commonwealth of Independent States did not come true. When the CIS was created, its founders hoped that a common defense space would be created, there would be free economic relations between members of the Commonwealth, citizens of the CIS countries would be able to move freely within the Commonwealth. But in reality, these hopes were unattainable. Every year the CIS countries increasingly distance themselves from each other, which indicates only one thing - dreams of integration break up when confronted with reality and it is hardly necessary to expect that this situation will suddenly change. Therefore, we must accept the situation as it is, and this also implies the adaptation of the CIS to the realities of the modern post-Soviet space.

For example, the military-strategic cooperation of the CIS countries today is largely carried out within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. These countries can indeed be considered military-political allies, especially since there were no armed and political conflicts between them that would be an obstacle to the development of cooperation in the defense sphere. It is within the CSTO that most joint military exercises in the post-Soviet space are being held today.

At the same time, Nazarbayev believes that the Commonwealth of Independent States is prematurely to bury. The CIS may well exist as a structure that allows for dialogue between the leaders of the post-Soviet republics. Thus, Nazarbayev led the CIS to the need to remove economic issues from the competence of this association of states. Considering that Kazakhstan has other integration projects, the CIS in this regard really does not represent much interest for Astana.

Nazarbayev’s stance on withdrawing economic issues from the CIS was supported at the Bishkek summit by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan. He also complained that the republics-participants of the CIS did not manage to come to an agreement on many issues. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko described the results of the twenty-five-year existence of the Commonwealth of Independent States as disappointing and stressed that the CIS has gone from “the best to the worst”. Hope to improve the integration processes are no longer necessary.

In fact, over the twenty-five years of the existence of the CIS in the post-Soviet space, other integration projects have emerged, in which Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus play the most important role. It is no secret that warmer relations have developed between individual participants in the CIS. It turns out that within the space of the Commonwealth there are other, and more effective, integration structures. The most famous among them is the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. We can single out a group of countries that are more interested in the real development of integration processes. First of all, it is Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, as well as Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan. To a lesser extent, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Uzbekistan are involved in integration processes, and to a still smaller extent - Turkmenistan.

As known. Turkmenistan has long pursued a policy of self-reliance, distancing itself from the integration processes in the post-Soviet space. However, among the post-Soviet republics, oddly enough, Turkmenistan is one of the most economically prosperous and maintains political stability, even if the political system established in the republic is accused of authoritarianism. Ashgabat managed to avoid bloody conflicts and the total economic crisis that accompanied the life of many states in the post-Soviet space.

As for Ukraine, until recently there was hope that the third post-Soviet Slavic state would take an active part in the integration processes. But after a coup d'état took place in Kiev in 2014 and pro-Western nationalist forces came to power in the country, hopes for Ukraine’s participation in the integration processes began to rapidly melt. It is already clear that Kiev has finally reoriented itself towards the United States and the European Union, and has taken an openly hostile position towards the Russian Federation. This actually excludes the possibility of full participation of Ukraine in the integration processes in the economy and, especially, in the military-political sphere.

By the way, the Ukrainian situation, as was to be expected, was touched upon at the Bishkek forum. When Nikolai Doroshenko, the country's ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, who represented Ukraine, took the floor, he did not fail to return to the “Crimean issue”. The formal reason for the discontent of the Ukrainian representative was that the presidency in the Commonwealth of Independent States passed out of turn to the Russian Federation. The reason for this is Moldova’s refusal of the presidency. On this occasion, Doroshenko declared a protest of Ukraine. Secondly, the Ukrainian ambassador was very unhappy with the planned population census, which was decided to be held in all countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2020. As the representative of Ukraine, if Russia in the census will take into account the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula, Ukraine does not recognize the results of the census. Recall that Kiev still refuses to recognize the accomplished reunification of the Crimea with Russia and calls the Crimea and Sevastopol only as “occupied territories”.

However, the Ukrainian ambassador received a worthy response from the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. Turning on his microphone, Vladimir Putin stressed that, first, Russia did not annex anything, and the events in Crimea were caused by the illegal actions of certain Ukrainian political forces and the coup d'état in Ukraine. Putin stressed that Crimea became Russian not as a result of annexation, but as a result of the free will of people living on the peninsula, which meets the requirements of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

Secondly, as Vladimir Putin noted, Ukraine in its time did not sign the Charter of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Therefore, Ukraine’s attempts to make proposals regarding the functioning of the CIS, including criticizing the order of chairmanship in this structure, look very strange. Indeed, it is not entirely clear on what grounds Ukraine, without being formally a member of the CIS and not having signed the organization’s charter, is trying to dictate who, and in what order, should preside over the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Thus, the Bishkek Summit in the CIS was another confirmation of the arguments in favor of reforming this structure. The last years of the CIS exist as a “stillborn child”, and many of its members have uneasy relations with each other. It is possible that in the foreseeable future, if no steps are taken in the direction of revising the very concept of the existence of this trans-state organization, it will either cease to exist or remain only on paper. The role and place of the CIS in the post-Soviet space can take more successful projects. In the economic direction it is the Eurasian Economic Union, in the military-political - the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In order to preserve the CIS, it is necessary to revise the very foundations of the existence of this organization and answer the questions “what does the CIS need in the modern world?”, “What tasks can be solved in the future within the CIS?”, “Are all CIS countries really aimed at or should any of them be free? ”

Meanwhile, cooperation of the post-Soviet states is still extremely important, given the numerous risks and dangers of the modern world. For example, in Central Asia and the South Caucasus today there is a rather tense situation connected with the activation of international terrorist organizations in the countries of the Near and Middle East. Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan are the objects of increased attention from radical groups operating in the territory of neighboring Afghanistan. But the solution of the problem of ensuring antiterrorist security is hardly possible for each of these countries without active cooperation with other states, including the Russian Federation.

Of particular importance is the control over the situation in the post-Soviet space for Russia. After all, "a holy place is never empty," and as soon as Russia weakens its influence on political processes in the former Soviet republics, immediately there are ubiquitous competitors - the United States, the European Union, China, which, although it is a partner of Russia, pursues its own goals in the same Central Asia
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  1. Danil Laryon
    Danil Laryon 19 September 2016 12: 04
    The CIS is a dead end branch of development, just like the British Commonwealth. sad
    1. Kasym
      Kasym 19 September 2016 18: 30
      hi Obviously, those who are members of the CSTO and the EAEU see themselves in a military, economic and political alliance (union). The rest hindered the development of the CIS.
      Initially, the National Academy of Sciences proposed to create a union of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Kazakhstan, since the rest are subsidized. To create a good starting spurt, but Minsk and Kiev immediately dragged on the GDP - the matter was delayed. Well, now everything is clear - Kiev slowed down as much as it could. Many criticize that there are no particular movements in the EAEU. But they ran away for 20 years, so nothing will happen right away. Our media announced the RF-RK meeting at the beginning of October, and since both are the most "prosperous", it is worth waiting for some concrete economic affairs. Others, as stated by a Russian member of parliament. commissions on CU and EAEU affairs, for example, "Kyrgyzstan has received everything it asked for this year. Including the start of work at the new power plant, the Kyrgyz are still deciding something; but the money has been allocated and it is worth waiting for the start of work." From us fuels and lubricants, flour, etc. - there kaz.-kir. rules. the commission decides at the end of each year what exactly is needed (for example, $ 50 million for free on the roadmap for joining the EAEU) ... Father is not happy, he probably thought that everything would be free (although in some places he was right) - and he loans, from which Minsk will never seem to come out (if there is such an economic policy) ... Because of Baku, Yerevan's interest in the alliance is simply vital. I remember they were going to integrate with Europe - the Kremlin quickly dissuaded ...
      When the EAEU will have hard currency not only in the "stash" of countries, but also in the pockets of citizens ... Then our Union will be interesting not only to the post-Soviet republics ... Although Medvedev said that the CU is already interesting to 40 countries of the world - and this trade should bring this hard currency. Here are some interesting points. As soon as the movement for the new union began, the PRC began to open its own products. market and started talking about Greater Eurasia. The West began a real opposition - the Ukrainian crisis (they are afraid of the USSR-2 and this is obvious, so for them this is a short-term victory) and persecution on all fronts. But they could not prevent India and Pakistan from joining the SCO. South Korea directly stated about the Customs Union with the EAEU, which led Washington into a stupor. But what about Abe's behavior for them? ... VVP launched such a chess Big Game that ... they (the West) are clearly not ready - apparently they only play fleeting checkers ...
      1. Talgat
        Talgat 22 September 2016 18: 37
        I agree with Kasym

        I will add that I do not consider the CIS as a tool for integration - not for the revival of Great Eurasia - but rather a tool for a "civilized divorce". The CIS is a product of the defeat of Eurasia in the confrontation with the West and the United States

        Sprouts of new Eurasia - in the CSTO and the Eurasian Union

        Unfortunately, there are only 2 sponsor countries - Russia (10 times bigger than us) and we - Kazakhstan (10 times smaller than Russia - but the benefits we have not only in money and budgets - huge territory and resources are a very important contribution to the treasury of future Eurasian power Union)
        But fortunately we are not alone - Belarusians and Kirghiz and Armenians have joined us. And even if they do not have "petrodollars" - but Belarus has an excellent preserved industry since the times of the USSR and the military-industrial complex + a model of a socially just society. Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have the most important geopolitical location - without them, Eurasia will not be able to control either the Caucasus or Central Asia. Plus, Kyrgyzstan has a great potential resort of Issyk Kul - no worse than the newly acquired Crimea.
    2. ibirus
      ibirus 20 September 2016 00: 35
      You're wrong. The British Commonwealth was formed with the aim of preserving economic and financial privileges for London. Where in the CIS format do you see something similar.?
  2. aszzz888
    aszzz888 19 September 2016 12: 09
    And what did ukrokakly do there? angry The protocol has not been signed, and they are still trying to crow! angry Drive them up to you! angry
    1. dmi.pris
      dmi.pris 20 September 2016 01: 29
      What did they do there? What they always did ... they went to the round table of negotiations ..
  3. Phosgene
    Phosgene 19 September 2016 12: 24
    The CIS does not have a future, because they look at the Russian Federation solely as a cash cow, but the Russian Federation does not need it ... I’m not talking about the openly anti-Russian policy of a number of states of the former USSR, with respect to which the Russian Federation has long time to take the most severe retaliatory measures. ..
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 19 September 2016 13: 10
      The future always exists. And it must not be seen in the wallet. and in the question LIFE-DEATH.
      We pay cohlamas (not a CIS member?) With our market (paid access) for projecting influence on Moldova and the Balkans, etc. How much are the privileges for Belarus for access to Kalining region and Poland, and from the north to Ukraine? So in Wed Asia and the Caucasus.
      None of which Kudrin will be able to determine the price of benefits from us to others is not the admission of geopolitics of rivals to countries of the former USSR.
      25 years have passed. Where are cars and trucks, and citizen planes, and towels, and underpants, and jam, and apples, and road rollers, and software, suitcases, and high-speed rail and road, and communications, and banking services? Everywhere we are crushed by geopolitical rivals in the countries of the former USSR. In vain dismissed the USSR? What markets in the world have entered? Prospects for 10-15 years?
  4. 34 region
    34 region 19 September 2016 13: 00
    Ukraine does not recognize Crimea as Russian! And when was he Ukrainian? Who did they beat him from? How much blood was shed for him? When Crimea moved to the independent suburbs, they did not think, as honest people, to return it to Russia. As well as the areas donated by Lenin and Stalin. And Russia did not protest either. CIS can develop only with a strong core. Russia's power will grow, and the CIS will grow stronger. Therefore, the separation from us of the Union republics is completely justified.
  5. win
    win 19 September 2016 13: 02
    According to a German intelligence report to the German government, Nazarbayev’s death in 2017-2018 is most likely to be expected. So the German doctors decided.
    The most possible option is the rise to power of young nationalists.
    And immediately Western corporations will be drawn there and troops will support them.
    There may be a military conflict with Russia over the lands that Khrushchev gave during the virgin saga.
    And no CIS ...
    1. Humpty
      Humpty 19 September 2016 13: 58
      Quote: Siegen
      And no CIS ...

      The Germans can do predictions as much as they like.
      The article has a lot of empty praise to the one and only of the presidents, the head of the nation.

      “According to Nursultan Nazarbayev, which he expressed earlier, many hopes pinned on the Commonwealth of Independent States did not come true. move freely within the Commonwealth. But in reality, these hopes turned out to be unattainable. "

      By his own efforts to a large extent.
      1. Kasym
        Kasym 19 September 2016 19: 23
        Humpty, be fair. Imagine in his place the Baltic Russophobes, the Ukrainian Poroshenko or the neutral Turkmenbashi. The latter would close the borders and the business is over. Central Asia would be "cut off" from the Russian Federation and further to Europe. I am afraid that one would not even have to dream about integration. I'm not going to defend NAS, he is an ordinary person who makes mistakes.
        I went to Issyk-Kul in the summer and got to the border crossing (the certificate of the birth of my son is not good), missed 500 km. unnecessary. It's good that in a minibus, not driving it yourself. A couple of years ago, the guys drove by the fly without any documents, but here ... gain after the terrorist attacks. And what can I say ... they have to be kicked ... - there was a pandemonium at the border, it was already up to the deputies. From your side, 3-4 people do things faster than our platoon ... The Chinese have rebuilt what road you have - especially on the pass - a song !!! If they build a straight line from Alma-Ata to Issyk-Kul, I'm afraid "ours will be registered there." In my opinion, it dawned on me why in Issyk-Kul you are "gaining health". The cool breeze of the highlands blows over a wet, naked body, sea water and the sun in the mountains temper the body so that then a year does not take a cold. hi
        1. Humpty
          Humpty 20 September 2016 05: 05
          Quote: Kasym
          ... I think it dawned on me why in Issyk-Kul you are "gaining health".

          Duc to be friends is always more pleasant than intriguing. Perhaps your president does not understand this. Putin is once again asked to calm down his beloved partner.
          We don’t have the right to have a quiet rest in your territory, the question of tightening measures for the stay of Kazakh citizens in Kyrgyzstan is raised in parliament as a response to the unjust and boorish attitude of the Kazakh authorities towards our citizens, which has been going on for many years.
          Dissatisfaction with the policy of N. in Wed. Asia is growing and beginning to annoy not only the authorities, but the widest circles of the general population.
          The Kazakh authorities are particularly irritated by tourists from Kyrgyzstan, who, contrary to your opinion, have some money.
          And at work with your colleagues, everything is fine. We have something like an island there, where you can only naturally fly in. And there are no borders with guards, go wherever you want (the North is a will, hope, a country without borders). But only our transport flies. True, when everyone scatters home after the season, then no, no, the Chinese arrive as if to their own home and carry out their activities, and, by indirect traces, of a scientific nature.
          1. Kasym
            Kasym 20 September 2016 19: 12
            Humpty, it's not NAS's fault. "I fell in love with the traffic cop when I met the customs officer." I have a feeling that they were given shoulder straps so that they would "rob" the people. And after the terrorist attacks - they dig the earth with their nose. By the way, in Almaty region, when the group was taken, one was from Kyrgyzstan. This is of course insanity in every bearded person, Uzbeks, Tajiks, etc. see the criminal. This policeman is cute. Do not feed bread - let me curry favor.
            I offered our border guard money. And he told me. "I will let it pass for free, and the Kyrgyz will tell you that we are missing it incorrectly - it will get it later." How do they serve there if they knock on each other - is it clear that the family is eating, one surname !? Some kind of madhouse, I understand, if a crowd of bearded men - that's the EAEU. Cursing, of course, but where to go - the lake then nullified all this negative of course; but lost a day. hi
        2. The comment was deleted.
  6. maxim1987
    maxim1987 19 September 2016 13: 08
    My personal opinion: what the hell is this CIS?
    1. aba
      aba 20 September 2016 04: 05
      What the hell is this CIS?

      And really, why ?!
      Let’s send everyone, close the borders, expel all the comers and let the Armenians bicker with Azerbaijanis, Uzbeks with Kyrgyz, and it doesn’t matter that in this case the missile defense system will be with us not only from the west, but also from the south. Is it really important and does it touch us ?! Yes, not how much!
      Hmm-ah ... It’s rather strange that someone else but you also likes your words ...
      Well, okay, the main thing is that your thought still does not prevail.
  7. Dimy4
    Dimy4 19 September 2016 13: 36
    The CIS is an attempt at a more or less civilized way of the collapse of the USSR at that time.
  8. Yeraz
    Yeraz 19 September 2016 14: 52
    CIS, do not tell)))
  9. Ustrushan
    Ustrushan 19 September 2016 20: 47
    The CIS is a good platform for meetings, settlement of certain problems, as it is now fashionable to say "synchronization of watches". How many times have these or those countries temporarily stopped their activities in this organization, but then returned. So there is a sense. Then times change, and this organization includes our closest neighbors. So that common challenges will be able to unite our countries in solving them. It's always easier to destroy than create.
  10. Lekov L
    Lekov L 19 September 2016 21: 32
    As for Ukraine, until recently there was hope that the third post-Soviet Slavic state would take an active part in the integration processes.

    Since the beginning of "times" dill has positioned itself as another storage.
    Nothing changed. They went to FIG!
    And of course Nursultan almost thanks ...
    Why almost ask the Russians in Kazakhstan?
    The successor, my opinion, will be worse for us anyway.
    I do not want to clean up later.
    You are there at an adequate citizens of Kazakhstan please sort it out yourself.
    With respect to the reasonable inhabitants of the former part of the Union and the Empire.
    Ermek Kuttybaevich Berkinbaev separate hello!
  11. akudr48
    akudr48 19 September 2016 23: 19
    The CIS has only the past.

    For the future - no prospects.
    1. aba
      aba 20 September 2016 04: 07
      For the future - no prospects.

      True from the part, so don't wang!
  12. win
    win 20 September 2016 11: 46
    In the program "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" the question was asked: "Where did Pushkin go abroad?" Answer options: Baden-Baden / Constantinople / something else / nowhere. The last answer was "nowhere".
    On the one hand, Pushkin did not really cross the borders of the Russian Empire. But, on the other hand, he visited both Moldova, and Ukraine, and Georgia, and even Turkey - the borders of Russia have changed since then.
    And you are all CIS, CIS ...
  13. Semurg
    Semurg 22 September 2016 19: 24
    Quote: Siegen

    Similarly, with each new president after the National Academy of Sciences, the policy of Kazakhstan will be more and more Kazakh-nationalized and Kazakh-oriented, this is a normal and natural process of building a new state of Kazakhs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. If the integration processes in the EAEC do not come into conflict with this Kazakhization of domestic policy, then integration will continue. if contradictions start, then it’s far from the fact that the current level of integration will continue. Kanesh the process of Kazakhization is a protest among some of our non-Kazakh population, and it has several ways to resist this process 1) this is leaving the country 2) separatism 3) the creation of its closed communities encapsulation-parallel life. Most so far choose option 1 and 3, but with some preparation and proper help, option 2 can happen.