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Lavrov: Georgia’s CIS Membership Suspended

The CIS foreign ministerial meeting in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek has suspended Georgia’s membership of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on October 9.

“A technical decision was made to suspend Georgia’s membership of the CIS in accordance with its request,” Interfax news agency quoted Lavrov as saying. 

President Saakashvili announced on August 12 that Georgia would leave the CIS, saying Russian troops would henceforth be deemed “occupational forces.” Two days later the Georgian parliament approved a decision to quit the CIS.

The decision envisages withdrawing from three agreements – the 1991 treaty on setting up the Commonwealth of Independent States, the charter approved by decision of the CIS heads of states in January 1993 and an agreement on economic cooperation from September 1993.

The CIS foreign ministers also decided to suspend the activities of the CIS peacekeeping forces in Abkhazia. 

“We have also decided to suspend the activities of the Collective Forces on maintaining peace in Abkhazia, which were created by decision of the CIS heads of states,” Lavrov told reporters.

Russian troops were stationed in the Abkhaz conflict zone under CIS aegis. Their presence in the region was also envisaged in an agreement between the heads of Georgia and Russia, which said they would withdraw if either side demanded it.

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov said on October 8 that after recognition of Abkhazia’s independence by Russia, imposing CIS sanctions on Sokhumi has become senseless.

On March 6 the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the country’s withdrawal from the 1996 CIS treaty on imposing economic sanctions on Abkhazia.

Denisov also said that Russia did not oblige other CIS member states to do the same in respect of the economic sanctions against Abkhazia.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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