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18 Aug, 2008 14:15

Georgia officially asks to leave CIS

Georgia has filed an official request to withdraw from the Commonwealth of Independent States. The move follows the decision by the Georgian Parliament to quit the alliance of twelve former Soviet republics.

Tbilisi says it will rid itself of three CIS political agreements, but it will maintain its bilateral commitments, including visa-free travel.

On August 12, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has announced his country is to leave the CIS. It followed Dmitry Medvedev’s order to end Russia’s military operation in Georgia.

Saakashvili made the announcement during a rally in the capital Tbilisi. In his speech he called on other countries in the union to leave the organisation.

“We have decided that Georgia will leave the CIS,” he said. “We urge Ukraine and other countries to also leave the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is dominated by Russia,” he said.

The CIS includes all the former Soviet republics apart from the Baltic states.