CIS leaders discuss ways of reforming the organisation

The Commonwealth of Independent States have pledged to increase efforts to counter drug trafficking and illegal immigration. At their summit in Tajikistan's capital, Dushanbe, they also adopted a plan defining the organisation's future.

These days the Tajik President, Emomali Rakhmonov, is not only hosting three summits in a row (an unprecedented event) but is also receiving congratulations on his 55th birthday.

Russia’s President Putin had his own opportunity to give congratulations to his counterpart as well as to discuss bilateral issues right before the event.

“Unfortunately, you have to work on your birthday and work quite hard. But on the other hand, we have the happy opportunity to congratulate you on your birthday and wish you all the best,” Mr Putin said. 

After the meeting, joined by the Kyrgyz President, Rakhmonov led Putin by the hand almost to the doors of the venue. Some of the leaders jumped over the steps in a hurry to get started, because there were too many topics are on the agenda.
Not far from the venue, the local market was buzzing as usual, only security measures were higher.

Market in Dushanbe
Market in Dushanbe

“I have four children. All of my family, brother and sisters work in Russia. My salary is so small, that I can easily earn my monthly salary there in one day,” Nigmat, a local resident, who just came back from Russia, said.

According to official statistics 10% of the Tajik population has moved to Russia in search of work, although experts say the number is much higher.

At this CIS summit migration policy tops the agenda.

Among the documents signed is a declaration on coordinated efforts in migration policy.

“People migrate all over the world, they live and work where ever they want. To avoid conflicts connected with deportation on of illegal immigrants it’s necessary to coordinate migration policies,” Kazakh leader, Nursultan Nazarbayev commented.
Another hot topic was the development of the CIS. Often torn apart by bilateral disputes between the member states, the CIS was sometimes labeled the Commonwealth of Irritated States.

It still remains a valuable format for face-to-face meetings, nevertheless some experts ask: does it have a future?
“Integration is very important. I’ve proposed the foundation of the union of Central Asian countries to resolve political and economic problems. But now certain legislations are prepared to found a customs union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan,” Mr Nazarbayev added.   
According to the document the focus should be on economic cooperation. Now that the concept has been defined, the task is to implement it.