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Back to Earth
Whatever was said or written about the last (in terms of time) CIS summit held behind closed doors in Moscow, it is clear that the heads of CIS countries are coming back to earth in their vision of the future of this organization.

The point here is not only about the change of political elites in some countries that are formally members of CIS. Moreover, it is not about the notion that the CIS was presumably established as an instrument for civilized divorce of the post-Soviet republics. Let us recall the year of 1991 and admit that there hardly existed any sentiments of divorce except for the Baltic states whose aboriginal nations regarded their membership in the USSR as a nonsense since its establishment. The peoples of other republics, bound by common history and human relations, did not think about the divorce at all. They were rather afraid of the fact that new borders would deprive them of the chance to meet relatives and friends, visit their favored resorts and develop infant business.

14 years that have passed since CIS establishment could not but change the shape of the post-Soviet states. The newly established independent states have made a significant step forward in the way of filling this comprehensive concept - independence - with the real sense. They have built, with a different degree of success, state institutions, security system, focused on the development of the national priorities in the government bodies, education and science, defined the directions of foreign policy and took their places in the international system of coordinates.

We have been one family for a too long time that even 14 years of separation could not completely cut all the ties between us. That is why it would have been inexpedient to kill off the CIS. If the reports leaked from the CIS summit behind closed doors are true, as a result of discussions, the heads of CIS countries decided to come back to the point from which any alliance starts, namely, to answer the questions: what is the reason of its establishment and what are the goals of this organization.

According to some information, Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov acuminated the discussion. Journalists have often rebuked the Turkmen leader for being a rear guest at CIS summits, forgetting to clear things out. It was the head of Turkmenistan who was the most consistent among other CIS leaders in his approaches to the status of CIS and its activity. Saparmurat Niyazov has repeatedly called on his colleagues and the public at large to treat the CIS summits as simply a possibility to hold regular top level consultations and refused to participate in the attempts to turn CIS into a kind of power-yielding structure nurturing grandiose integration plans that in practice do not honor the adopted decisions! Alas, his words remained unheard until the life itself made everyone face the reality and come back from the heaven of unreal projects to the earth of pragmatism.

Judging by the fact that at the summit the president of Turkmenistan stated his intention to visit Kazan which will host an informal CIS summit in the end of August, Saparmurat Niyazov felt the mood of the majority of his colleagues which is to draw the final line under the issue of status and activity of CIS and its bodies.

CIS should remain a consultative body, without any executive powers. It should make general recommendations, advises, the Turkmen leader said. While stating that "it is impossible to bind everyone by a single law or agreement", he admitted, at the same time, that "bilateral or trilateral agreements can be adopted within the CIS."

Saparmurat Niyazov said that the presidents of CIS countries agreed to prepare a draft Charter of CIS and consider it at the next summit.

Can we assert that the common sense prevailed? I believe we can, but with a certain degree of conventionality. It is bureaucrats who execute the instructions of leaders. Many of them are interested in keeping their nests in different CIS bodies rather than in the effective functioning of CIS.


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