Russian President Vladimir Putin, addressing the restricted format meeting of the CIS Heads of State Council in Dushanbe, stressed the great importance of interaction between the countries of the Commonwealth, according to the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Putin pointed out that the trade between the CIS countries rose despite the negative external environment and called for expanding the use of national currencies in mutual payments at the Dushanbe summit.
According to Peskov, Russia's president highlighted the importance of the CIS and the cooperation between the CIS member states in politics, social, economic and humanitarian affairs and also in law enforcement.
"Vladimir Putin said that the uneasy global economic trends did not affect the trade in the CIS which increased by almost 15% in January-June 2018. Now it stands at $85 billion despite a number of negative external factors," Peskov added. The Russian leader urged to make the most of the CIS Free Trade Agreement and also to increase the use of national currencies in mutual payments, to coordinate action in the international arena and in the UN.
During the restricted format meeting the participants exchanged opinions on the current issues of the CIS. It was decided to pass on the CIS presidency 2019 to Turkmenistan, with the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan acting as co-chairs.
The participants included President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of Moldova Igor Dodon, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkmenistan Purli Agamyradov, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee – Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev.
The deputy dean of the Faculty of Global Economics and International Affairs of the Higher School of Economics of the National Research University, Andrei Suzdaltsev, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that CIS longevity proves the relevance of the format of the Commonwealth. "Back in 2007, I was asked if the CIS would ever survive, and now we see that 11 years later it still exists. The CIS represents our region, and the documents signed within the framework of the Commonwealth have a region-wide significance. Look, Georgia, which officially left, and Ukraine, which is withdrawing, reserved the right to act within the framework of several agreements signed by them - that is, it is almost impossible to completely withdraw from the CIS," he stressed.
"It is to be expected that in the near future the CIS will deal more with humanitarian issues, which are very important because the language of the region is Russian. In terms of the economy, it is more difficult with prospects, since the economy was initially laid as an option for cooperation in the CIS, but we could not achieve full integration. The CIS as a platform for negotiations is also important for Russia," Andrei Suzdaltsev drew attention.
A professor of the Department of Russian Foreign Policy in the National Security Faculty at RANEPA, Alexander Mikhailenko, said that in the first place Russia is interested in the CIS in the field of security. "Then Russia is is interested in expanding economic cooperation within the EEU, for example, paying closer attention to the possibility of participation of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, in the Union. And, of course, humanitarian cooperation," he said.