CIS

Members of the CIS - Commonwealth of Independent States

The CIS is an alliance of currently 10 member states, which emerged in 1991 from the former republics of the Soviet Union and are all located in Asia and Eastern Europe.

The 10 republics today cover an area of 21.46 million km² and have a population of about 243.29 million ((3.2% of the world population).
CountryCommencementRegionAreaPopulation
Armenia1991Western Asia30,000 km²2.96 M
Azerbaijan1991Western Asia87,000 km²10.02 M
Belarus1991Eastern Europe208,000 km²9.47 M
Kazakhstan1991Central Asia2,725,000 km²18.51 M
Kyrgyzstan1991Central Asia200,000 km²6.46 M
Moldova1991Eastern Europe34,000 km²2.66 M
Russia1991Eastern Europe17,098,000 km²144.37 M
Tajikistan1991Central Asia141,000 km²9.32 M
Turkmenistan1991Central Asia488,000 km²5.94 M
Uzbekistan1991Central Asia447,000 km²33.58 M


Origin of the CIS

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the previously 15 Soviet Union republics were granted independence in December 1991. In the same month the former republics of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine founded the "Commonwealth of Independent States". Another 8 followed towards the end of the same month: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova (Moldova), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Georgia was only a member from 1993 to 2009.

The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were also previously part of the Soviet Union, but never joined the CIS.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union put the former partners at an economic and military disadvantage compared to the western states of Europe. There were also still numerous links with trading partners within the former Soviet Union. The basic goal was initially economic and military cooperation and mutual support.

Decreasing significance and acceptance

Due to different political and ideological developments, only a few goals were ultimately realized. Thus Moldova and Ukraine did not participate in security agreements. A planned customs union was not even implemented. As Russia's dominance increased, other partners also increasingly distanced themselves from it. With the admission of numerous former Eastern Bloc states to the European Union, the trade interests of the more western CIS states also shifted. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus and Ukraine are now strongly linked to the EU through trade agreements - the former enemy and the real reason for the alliance. Georgia already left the CIS during the war over South Ossetia. The annexation of the Crimea was the reason for Ukraine's withdrawal.

The fact that Russia, too, is now unable to stop the disintegration of the CIS can be seen in the founding of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which was created in 2014 by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan as an obvious replacement.

Former member countries

CountryExitRegionAreaPopulation
Georgia2009Western Asia70,000 km²3.72 M
Ukraine2014Eastern Europe604,000 km²44.39 M