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Commonwealth of Independent States

  • By: Darren Purcell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is an organization founded to address economic and security situations facing the 15 former republics of the Soviet Union after the collapse of that country in 1991. The organization is a loose coalition addressing economic, trade, and security issues and has several constituent bodies. Headquartered in Minsk, Belarus, it is an organization that throughout its short history has been a weak organization despite initial fears that it was a vehicle for the recentralization of power to the Russian Federation.

Context and Genesis

The demise of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991 led the republics to confront the economic and political realities facing them collectively. After years of domination by the Soviet Union, the constituent republics had a high ...

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