Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are ready to cooperate in solving growing common challenges and security threats, as well as disagreements in the bloc.
"We have to admit, unfortunately, that disagreements also arise between the member states of the CIS. The main thing, however, is that we are ready and will cooperate," Putin said during his opening remarks at the informal summit of the CIS in the Russian city of St. Petersburg.
Putin said the key area of cooperation among CIS countries is “the maintenance of security and stability in our common Eurasian region,” adding that despite this, challenges and threats in this area, which he noted come primarily from abroad, are only growing every year.
He further noted that the leaders of the CIS countries, "even if any problematic issues arise, strive to solve them (the issues) together, jointly, providing comradely assistance and mediation assistance to each other."
Putin also drew attention to how CIS countries cooperate in combating terrorism and extremism, cross-border crime, drug trafficking, and corruption.
He added that the informal summit of the CIS “in such a friendly circle, eloquently testifies to our (the CIS’) desire to further jointly build cooperation in the CIS space in the spirit of genuine strategic partnership, mutual benefit, and consideration of the interests of all countries.”
He also said the interactions within the CIS developed successfully, noting that these developments are taking place against the backdrop of a difficult situation caused by volatility in global markets and unfavorable global economic conditions, as well as sanctions pressure from some countries.
"The CIS countries began to more actively switch to national currencies in mutual settlements, and coordinated measures were taken through the CIS aimed at import substitution and ensuring technological sovereignty, independence, building up joint industrial production and scientific potential," Putin noted.
The CIS is a regional organization formed after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 by its former members to encourage cooperation in economic, political, and security affairs.