KIEV, May 2. /TASS/. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council has made a decision to suspend participation in coordination councils of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), an assembly of post-Soviet republics.
"The Security Council supported the proposals to cancel Ukrainian representatives’ participation in activities of the CIS bodies, and instructed Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry to take measures in compliance with the established procedure to terminate some interstate agreements," the press service said.
Earlier on Wednesday, before the Council’s meeting President Pyotr Poroshenko said that proposals to recall Ukrainian envoys from the CIS coordination councils would be drawn up in the near future. Therefore, Ukraine would stop its participation within the CIS. Poroshenko pointed out that it did not mean the withdrawal from the CIS since Ukraine had never been its member.
On April 12, Poroshenko instructed the government to draft a document on Ukraine’s official termination of participation in CIS activities and instructed the cabinet to launch a procedure of Ukraine’s official withdrawal from the CIS constituent bodies. On April 23, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee, CIS Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev said that the country had not submitted an official notification of its intention to withdraw from the Commonwealth’s bodies.
Back in 1991, Ukraine ratified the agreement establishing the CIS and the protocol to the agreement, but did not ratify the Commonwealth’s Charter, so the country did not become the CIS member de jure. Nevertheless, Kiev participated in the organization’s work, although not at all levels. In 2014, after a change of power in Kiev, the new leadership announced plans to withdraw from the CIS. In October 2014, a relevant bill was submitted to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament), but has not been considered until now.