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The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)[lower-alpha 1] is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Asia, and Western Asia. It was formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. It covers an area of 20,368,759 km2 (7,864,422 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 239,796,010. The CIS encourages cooperation in economic, political and military affairs and has certain powers relating to the coordination of trade, finance, lawmaking, and security. It has also promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention. Often considered as the successors of the USSR, it is one of the largest intergovernmental organizations in Europe.

Quick facts: Commonwealth of Independent StatesСодружество...
of Independent States
Содружество Независимых Государств
Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv
     Member states      Disputed territory[2]
     Associate state
Administrative seats
Largest cityMoscow
Working languageRussian
9 member states
1 associate state
1 observer state
Sergey Lebedev
Valentina Matviyenko
LegislatureInterparliamentary Assembly[4]
8 December 1991
21 December 1991
22 January 1993
20 September 2012
20,368,759[5] km2 (7,864,422 sq mi)
 2018 estimate
(excluding Crimea)
11.77/km2 (30.5/sq mi)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
$5.5 trillion
 Per capita
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
$2.5 trillion
 Per capita
HDI (2017)0.740
CurrencyNo common currencya
Associate state
Time zoneUTC+2 to +12
Driving sideright
Internet, .by, .am, .kz, .kg, .az, .md, .tj, .uz
a Soviet ruble (руб) used from 1991 to 1994

When the Soviet Union began to fall, the founding republics signed the Belavezha Accords on 8 December 1991, declaring that the Union would cease to exist and proclaimed the CIS in its place. A few days later the Alma-Ata Protocol was signed, which declared that the Soviet Union was dissolved. The Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), which regard their membership in the Soviet Union as an illegal occupation, chose not to participate. Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008 following the Russo-Georgian War. Ukraine formally ended its participation in CIS statutory bodies in 2018, although it had stopped participating in the organization much earlier.[6][7][8]

Eight of the nine CIS member states participate in the CIS Free Trade Area. Three organizations originated from the CIS, namely the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union (alongside subdivisions, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Space); and the Union State. While the first and the second are military and economic alliances, the third aims to reach a supranational union of Russia and Belarus with a common government, currency, and so on.

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