DUSHANBE, September 3 (Itar-Tass) — Dushanbe hosted the 20th CIS summit, attended by eight out of 11 leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The meeting was held in a closed format at first, and then the presidents were joined by their delegations.
The host of the present summit, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, congratulated the colleagues on the CIS 20th anniversary and pointed to the important role of the organisation in “preserving historically shaped relations” over the post-Soviet space.
“If we want consolidate our multiphase cooperation further, we should use available resources and efforts of states in implementing the common impressive potential,” he said. Rakhmon expressed confidence that “the potential of the Commonwealth is not exhausted, and Tajikistan is ready to move farther in the direction of development of integration contacts between our countries”.
The Russian president dealt at length with the topic of OSCE international observers for elections and referendums in CIS countries.
Observer delegations, sent in line with ODIHR procedures, “consist, as a rule, a huge number of people (between 300 and 500), and international observers who come from the OSCE, sometimes blatantly demonstrate a politicised approach to assessment of preparations and holding of elections”, he stated, adding: “This approach, no need to conceal this, is based very often on double standards.”
The president noted that in this connection, it is necessary to consolidate the role of the appropriate mission of CIS observers. “All of us seek to hold free and democratic elections. But this does not mean an open road for any outside force in the sense of forming abroad a domestic situation in our states,” Medvedev emphasised.
The year 2011 is a special year for the Commonwealth, since the Alma-Ata declaration was signed exactly 20 years ago – “a historic document that justified its designation” and gave “a chance to build a new community of independent states by our common efforts”, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
He noted that “there were many opinion that the Commonwealth had exhausted itself, and the question was prodded on its disbandment”. However, according to the Kazakh president, “we took the course five years ago for reforming the CIS and improving the operation of its structures”. Although, the Kazakh leader admitted, “we should say openly: there are shortcomings and difficult questions in CIS operation, but there are also definite positive changes in present-day work”.
The Council meeting also examined organisational questions. For instance Medvedev said that he would be “very glad to see all CIS leaders in Moscow at an informal summit by the year-end, devoted to the 20th anniversary of the organisation. Official invitations will be sent through diplomatic channels in the near future”.
For his part, Nazarbayev suggested “speaking in greater detail in an informal atmosphere in Moscow in December of the results of CIS operation and the historic role it played and continues to play in the life of our peoples”.
Head of the CIS Executive Committee Sergei Lebedev said that the meeting of the Council of the heads of state “decided: Turkmenistan will exercise the presidency in the Commonwealth from January 1, 2012”. It was decided to hold the next CIS summit in Ashgabat early in November 2012.
An intrigue vanished into thin air on the sidelines of the Council meeting: why Alexander Lukashenko did not come for the summit. Belarussian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov explained that the president’s refusal to come to Dushanbe does not mean that he is discontented with the Commonwealth’s operation. “The president is absent from the summit due to the fact that he is preoccupied with pressing issues , connected with monetary-financial regulation in Belarus,” Martynov explained.
The CIS heads of state signed an agreement by the results of the Dushanbe meeting on organising actions of officers on duty, responsible for air defence in CIS countries on receiving information of a capture (or hijacking) of an airliner. They also signed the agreement on immortalising the courage and heroism of peoples of CIS member countries in the Great Patriotic War, 1941-1945.
The leaders adopted a statement at the end of the summit, summing up the results of the 20-year activities of the Commonwealth.