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Barak-Khan_Madrasah, Tashkent

Cathedral_Svetitskhoveli, Georgia

Maiden Tower, Baku

The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organization formed during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Nine out of the fifteen former Soviet Republics are member states, and two are associate members. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was established in December, 1991. In the adopted Declaration, the participants of the Commonwealth declared their interaction on the basis of sovereign equality. At present the CIS unites: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Ukraine. Georgia used to be a member of the CIS but left it in 2008. The CIS helps to coordinate trade, defense, finance and governance among the member states. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and the adoption of the CIS by the newly independent countries marked the end of the Cold War. Additionally, some members of the CIS have also established supplemental alliances. For example, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan created the Eurasian Economic Community to foster better trade among the three countries in 1996. Many CIS members purchase natural gas and oil from Russia, which has vast reserves of both energy sources. This is a contentious issue for many of the member states, as the prices for these commodities are set in Russia.

 

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