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21 December

21 December 1991

The agreement on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was signed on December 21, 1991.

The protocol of the agreement on the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was signed at the meeting of 11 independent states of the former Union in Almaty.

After the breakup of the USSR, several integration associations of former Soviet republics were created on its basis. The Commonwealth of Independent States was the largest of them. The CIS was founded in Minsk on December 8, 1991 on the basis of the Agreement signed by the heads of the Russian Federation, Belarus and Ukraine. After a while,the leaders of eight additional former Soviet Republics–Armenia,Azerbaijan,Kazakhstan,Kyrgyzstan,Moldova,Turkmenistan , Tajikistan  and Uzbekistan participated in the organization. Georgia joined CIS in 1993. At this point, 12 of 15 former Soviet Republics (apart from the Baltic States) participated in the CIS. In December 2005, the Georgian parliament adopted a decision on early withdrawal from the CIS. On January 15, 2006, Georgia officially withdrew from the Council of Defense Ministers with the statement that "Georgia has taken a course to join NATO and it cannot be part of two military structures simultaneously".

The organizational structure of the CIS includes the Council of the Heads of State, the Council of Heads of Government, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, the Executive Secretariat, the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Council of Defense Ministers, and the sectoral cooperation bodies.

In accordance with the Treaty on establishing of the Economic Union (1993), the main economic goal of CIS is to create a common market for goods, services, capital and labor. To achieve this goal it is necessary to create a free trade area, and the custom, payment, and in the future monetary unions.