Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independence States (CIS) have signed a series of deals to expand economic and security cooperation within the Russia-led organisation.
The agreements were reached during a summit of CIS leaders on Wednesday, chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in Russia’s southern resort city of Sochi, Xinhua news agency reported.
According to a Kremlin statement, Putin said in his opening remarks that the CIS countries have “every opportunity” to launch new ambitious and mutually beneficial projects.
Putin said the summit particularly highlighted an economic agenda and ways of improving trade and investment ties and eliminating barriers to the flow of goods and services.
The participants agreed to improve the operation of the inter-parliamentary assembly of the CIS countries, delineate the powers between the CIS council of heads of state and the CIS council of heads of government, and enhance regulations for the CIS council of foreign ministers and the CIS economic council.
The leaders vowed to crack down on money laundering, financing for terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and corruption.
They also decided to expand a joint air defence system to the aerospace and peacefully use the outer space.
CIS was founded in December 1991 amid the collapse of the Soviet Union.
It currently has nine full member states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.