Commonwealth of Independent States


Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS)
   Intergovernmental organization. In the wake of the August Coup of 1991, the leaders of the union republics, excluding the Baltic States and Georgia, strove to preserve some aspects of the union that had bound their countries together since 1922. However, political expediency, domestic issues, and popular resentment at the now-defunct Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) made the conversion of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) into a proposed Union of Sovereign States a nonstarter during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The New Union Treaty failed to be ratified, and in early December 1991, the leaders of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine met outside Minsk to sign the Belavezha Accords. This meeting produced the Creation Agreement, which abolished the Soviet Union and established a loose confederation known as the Commonwealth of Independent States.
   On 21 December, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Armenia joined, bringing the organization to 11 members. Georgia, in the midst of its own civil war, waited until 1993 to become part of the group. The Baltic States, which had been annexed during World War II, abstained from any post-Soviet alliances with Russia. Ukraine and Turkmenistan, though signatories to the CIS treaty, have never ratified the CIS charter, making the former a participating member and the latter an associate member. In the wake of the 2008 South Ossetian War, Georgia declared its intention to leave the CIS by the end of 2009.
   The purpose of the CIS is to provide a regional framework for security, economic, political, and legal cooperation among its members. While the CIS meets regularly and engages in policy discussions, the organization has few powers, causing it to be often referred to as a “paper tiger.” Substantive cooperation occurs in the CIS’ affiliated organizations such as the Collective Security Treaty Organization and the Eurasian Economic Community. During the Yeltsin administration, the Russian Federation used the CIS as a mechanism for peacekeeping operations in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and other parts of the former Soviet Union.
   The CIS was thus seen as a postimperial extension of the Kremlin’s power, giving rise to the notion of a Monroeski Doctrine. Under Vladimir Putin, the organization has been reinvigorated, after almost passing out of existence in 1998–1999. Recently, it has been used as a tool to stanch the spread of so-called color revolutions across post-Soviet space. Since 2000, the CIS has also engaged in election monitoring in the region and backed the increased use of the Russian language in its member states. While the CIS has never evolved into a Eurasian counterpart to the European Union, it remains a forum for discussion and debate among the former Soviet republics. In 1992, the CIS sent a joint team to the Barcelona Olympic Games; such cooperation was not repeated in subsequent Olympiads.
   See also Foreign relations.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Commonwealth of Independent States —   [ kɔmənwelθ əv ɪndɪ pendənt steɪts, englisch], Abkürzung CIS, Gemeinschaft Unabhängiger Staaten …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — a loose confederation of countries that were part of the U.S.S.R.: it includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan: abbrev. CIS …   English World dictionary

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — CIS redirects here. For other uses, see CIS (disambiguation). Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Содружество Независимых Государств (СНГ) Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv (SNG) …   Wikipedia

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — an alliance of former Soviet republics formed in December 1991, including: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Abbr.: C …   Universalium

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — noun an association of several independent republics in eastern Europe and western, central and northern Asia, formed in 1991 by the constituent republics of the former Soviet Union; current membership is Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan …   Australian English dictionary

  • Commonwealth of Independent States —    (CIS)    A loose confederation of states formerly in the Soviet Union.    See also Belarus; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Russia; Ukraine …   Historical dictionary of the Gypsies

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — Com′monwealth of In′dependent States′ n. geg an alliance of former Soviet republics formed in December 1991, including: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine …   From formal English to slang

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — noun an alliance made up of states that had been Soviet Socialist Republics in the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution in Dec 1991 • Syn: ↑CIS • Hypernyms: ↑world organization, ↑world organisation, ↑international organization, ↑international… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — geographical name association of the former constituent republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics except for Lithuania, Latvia, & Estonia; formed 1991 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Commonwealth of Independent States — Communauté des États indépendants Pour les articles homonymes, voir CEI. Communauté des États indépendants …   Wikipédia en Français