The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a regional organization whose participating countries are former Soviet Republics, it was formed on December, 8 1991 on the basis of the "Agreement between the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation (RSFSR) and Ukraine on the creation of the CIS" (Belavezha Accords). The agreement was signed by the leaders of three Soviet republics as state founders of USSR who signed the Union Treaty in 1922 (for the Republic of Belarus - S. Shushkevich and V. Kebich, for RSFSR - B. Yeltsin and G. Burbulis, for Ukraine - L. Kravchuk and B. Fokin). The Agreement was ratified on December, 12 1991by the decision of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, which appealed to all States of the former Soviet Union, regardless of their national, religious and other differences, who share the ideas of the Agreement, to join the CIS for mutually beneficial cooperation in the interests of all peoples. On December, 21 1991, on the basis of the Alma-Ata Protocol on the purposes and principles of the CIS, the leaders of eight additional former Soviet Republics joined the CIS and thus bringing the number of participating countries to 12: Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, The Republic of Armenia, Republic of Moldova and Turkmenistan. The possibility of associated membership for the countries wishing to participate only in certain activities of the CIS is provided.
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