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Creation of CIS was justified step — Putin

The Russian leader said this was true of the CIS countries’ security and the economy

ST. PETERSBURG, December 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS) 30 years ago was a justified step.

"We have seen many cardinal changes over the past years and decades. At the same time, I would like to stress that the very creation of the organization was certainly well-founded. Integration has grown deeper on many tracks," Putin stated at an informal CIS summit in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.

The Russian leader said this was true of the CIS countries’ security and the economy.

"I should say that on the whole the ties that have been preserved since the Soviet era continue to play their positive role. There are common supply links and common enterprises that now operate as partners. There are value-added chains implying a rather high degree of cooperation," he said. All this, he stressed, has not just been preserved, but "moved forward and developed on a totally new basis."

Face-to-face meeting

Putin thanked his counterparts for accepting his invitation and coming to St. Petersburg for the meeting, which has now become traditional. He recalled that before the pandemic the CIS leaders had regularly gathered in St. Petersburg on New Year’s Eve.

"This year is a very special one for the CIS: the 30th anniversary of the organization was marked just recently, in December. I had the pleasure of congratulating all of you upon the 30th anniversary of independence. And I am doing this with pleasure now, as we meet face to face," he added.

Putin acknowledged that a face-to-face meeting was rather unusual amid the pandemic.

"Far more often we work in the virtual model. But since this opportunity to meet personally has emerged, it should be used properly," Putin said.

The Russian leader thanked his counterparts for initiating this event. Although the summit is being held in St. Petersburg, in fact, each CIS leader came out for holding the meeting this way, he stressed.