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CIS adapting to modern realities

On October 10, foreign ministers prepared draft documents to be submitted to CIS heads of state for consideration.

A meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth countries was held in Sochi. The main topic of the talks was the improvement of the CIS activities and adaptation to modern realities.

October 10, the Russian Olympic capital became the main city of the CIS. On the eve of the summit of heads of state, CIS foreign ministers checked whether they are on the same page. Such meetings of foreign ministers of the Commonwealth countries have already become a tradition. This is an opportunity not only to exchange opinions, but also to work out common positions on many internal and external problems.

For example, the possibility of closer cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia was vigorously discussed. In total, the ministers discussed about 20 important matters for the Commonwealth.

Yulia Beshanova, CTV:
The circle of interests of the CIS is quite wide: security, trade ties, and culture. For 26 years, the former union republics have not forgotten the common past. It is easier to confront both internal and external challenges and threats. In 2016, Alexander Lukashenko voiced the idea that the CIS needs reform. Today, this work is being actively pursued. But the participants of the meeting - the heads of the CIS foreign ministries - once again stressed that the changes will affect the form, but not the principles of cooperation.

Today it is important to increase the practical return from the CIS. To do this, it is necessary to minimize expenses for maintenance, to optimize the number of employees. The moment has come when the existing integration institutions and discussion areas need to be turned into centers for making real decisions. The economic component is still a priority.

Vladimir Makei, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus:
Some time ago, the heads of state adopted relevant decisions on the adaptation of the CIS to modern conditions. Yes, some things are done, but, unfortunately, sometimes we pay more attention to organizational and technical aspects. That's why we called on our colleagues to do real business, pay more attention to the economic component of the CIS, which is an absolute priority for all participating states. The Belarusian side supported the speedy completion of work on the agreement to establish a free trade zone in the service sector and on documents creating a unified system of public procurement.

The fact that the adaptation of the Commonwealth to modern realities is proceeding successfully is also indicated by the fact that ministers agreed to sign some documents without discussion (thanks to their high readiness).

The meeting participants approved two important security documents at once. First, they agreed to jointly combat the legalization of illegal proceeds, the financing of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. They also paid attention to the fight against corruption.

Sergei Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation:
Within the framework of cooperation in the military sphere, a decision was adopted on the main directions for the adaptation of the current unified air defense system of the CIS member states to the tasks of aerospace defense. We expect to complete this work by 2025.

Another unifying direction is humanitarian cooperation. Support for youth movements, national sports, and culture. The participants of the meeting decided to declare 2019 the Year of the Book, 2020 will be dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War.

The next meeting of the Foreign Ministers Council will be held in April 2018 in Minsk.

CIS adapting to modern realities