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