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Possible withdrawal from CIS to weaken Ukraine’s economy — Russian lawmaker

November 28, 2014, 15:50 UTC+3 ST. PETERSBURG
Ukraine is connected with all the CIS countries, and cooperation with them is a precondition for its economic development, says Valentina Matviyenko who chairs the CIS Inter-parliamentary Assembly
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Valentina Matviyenko

Valentina Matviyenko

© Artyom Korotayev/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, November 28. /TASS/. Ukraine’s potential withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose alliance of former Soviet states, will primarily harm the country’s economy, the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament, the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko said on Friday.

“Of course, the CIS is a voluntary association of states, and no one may ban the move of leaving it. Legal and humanitarian consequences of this step are another case,” says Matviyenko, who also chairs the CIS Inter-parliamentary Assembly.

“Ukraine is connected by thousands of threads with all the CIS countries, and cooperation with them is a precondition for its economic development,” Matviyenko said, adding that the withdrawal could result in “negative consequences for millions of citizens.”

The statement comes after a draft resolution on terminating Ukraine’s membership of the CIS and its bodies was submitted to the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, on Thursday.

“If cheap policy continues prevailing in Ukraine over economic interests, then nothing good is expected from this,” the upper house speaker said, expressing hope that the bill will not be adopted.

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian government abolished the office of a special commissioner for cooperation with Russia, the CIS, EurAsEC and other regional associations.

President Petro Poroshenko earlier recalled his envoy to the CIS, Anatoly Dron, but a spokesman for the Belarusian Foreign Ministry later described this move as “purely technical.”

The CIS was founded by the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine on December 8, 1991. At the moment the organization groups 11 former Soviet republics, including Ukraine. Belarus took over the CIS presidency this year when Ukraine last spring refused to perform the functions of the CIS president.

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