The meeting was attended by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of the Republic of Moldova Igor Dodon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

The leaders of the CIS countries summed up the results of Russia’s CIS Presidency in 2017 and exchanged views on the further development of cooperation in different areas.

Vladimir Putin had a brief bilateral meeting with President of Moldova Igor Dodon on the sidelines of the informal summit.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues, friends,

I am happy that we managed to hold this informal meeting ahead of the New Year, as we agreed, to sum up the results of our joint work in the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States during this year, to talk about our plans for the future and, of course, to discuss topical issues on the regional and international agendas.

Over the past period, Russia has chaired the CIS and put great effort into promoting integration in Eurasia and strengthening the global reputation of the CIS and the effective work of its executive bodies.

The main attention was focused on bringing down barriers in the movement of goods and services and facilitating customs procedures. Let me note that this year trade between the CIS countries has grown significantly. According to the data for the first 10 months, it has grown more than one-fourth (25.7 percent) to reach almost $117 billion. Just for reference, it was $94 billion last year. Trade between the CIS and third countries has grown almost as much: plus 24 percent.

The contractual foundation of the Commonwealth has grown stronger. The agreements on innovations, nuclear power engineering and transport security have entered into force. Documents countering the spread of counterfeit products and protecting intellectual property have been adopted. The work on an important agreement – on free trade in services within the CIS – is nearing completion.

The CIS countries are enhancing their cooperation in the struggle against terrorism, cross-border crime and drug trafficking. In May, the CIS countries’ secret services staged the large-scale exercises, “Dushanbe-Anti-Terror-2017 in Tajikistan. Concepts for cooperation in countering corruption and the legalisation of illegal income have been reviewed and endorsed.

Humanitarian ties have been further developed. As part of the Year of the Family, the CIS countries have introduced a package of measures to support the Institute of the family and traditional values. A number of promising joint projects have been carried out in youth policy, education, culture, sport, tourism and healthcare. A forum of the artistic and scientific intelligentsia was successfully held in Moscow in December.

Our states are closely cooperating on urgent regional and international issues and supporting the formation of a fair global world order based on universally recognized principles of international law and the key role of the United Nations.

I am convinced that the further deepening of cooperation in the CIS meets the vital interests of our nations. We will work together to resolve our tasks of socio-economic development and consolidating the stability and security of our states.

Colleagues, on January 1 Russia will transfer its CIS Presidency to Tajikistan. I would like to wish success to Mr Rahmon and all our Tajik friends.

And, of course, I would like to sincerely wish a happy New Year to all of you and also to wish you, your families and friends, all the people of your countries, and all those who live in the CIS, good health, happiness, well-being, peace and prosperity.

Source: Article and Image unedited and in its true form from the President of Russia Website Kremlin Moscow licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.