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MOSCOW, December 20 (Itar-Tass) — The Commonwealth of Independent States that unites 11 out of 15 former Soviet republics will see its 20th anniversary on Monday. The presidents of all CIS states will gather in the Kremlin for an informal summit on the occasion of the anniversary.
“Irrespective of political preferences the CIS has largely guaranteed and will keep on guaranteeing the continuity of dialogue among the leaders of the CIS states and continuity in integration, priorities and areas of activity,” presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko told Itar-Tass.
He said it was too early to bury the CIS. “No one is going to do that. The memories of the USSR have given way to realistic and pragmatic work. The CIS is playing an enormous stabilization role…It’s a live and useful mechanism,” Prikhodko emphasized.
“We have our own competitive advantages over many other international associations and we are going to use them,” the presidential aide went on to say.
He explained that informal summits don’t have fixed agendas for talks. That is why the CIS presidents will discuss a wide range of issues linked to multilateral interaction. They will focus on ways of raising the efficiency of the Commonwealth’s work in the interests of improving the living standards of the citizens of the CIS member countries. This is a priority task which has been fixed and set in a joint statement prepared by the heads of the CIS states and which is to be endorsed by the summit.
Other topics for discussion include the activity of the Mission of CIS monitors which, according to the Kremlin, has proven to be successful in monitoring presidential and parliamentary elections as well as referendums in the CIS member states.
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan and Russia held election campaigns in 2010-2011.
“The presence of CIS monitors increases confidence in the elective process. In this connection, the summit is going to consider a proposal on adoption of additional measures to increase the role of the Mission of CIS Monitors in the territory of the Commonwealth,” Prikhodko stressed.
The presidents will also exchange views on how to improve and develop economic cooperation. The prime ministers of the CIS countries signed a new free trade zone agreement designed to become a real instrument to intensify trade and economic cooperation on the basis of transparency clear to all countries.
The CIS presidents will also discuss a proposal of the CIS Executive Committee to announce cooperation in the sphere of communications and development of information systems to be the key subject of CIS economic interaction in 2012.
Prikhodko also said that the CIS jubilee summit would also discuss Kazakhstan’s initiative to implement an inter-state program “The Cultural Capitals of the Commonwealth” in 2012 and announce the cities of Astana (Kazakhstan) and Mary (Turkmenistan) to be the CIS cultural capitals in 2012.