Glossary: Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Created on December 8, 1991, with the signing of the Minsk Agreement by Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. The Alma-Ata Declaration, signed by eleven heads of state on December 21, 1991, expanded membership in the CIS to all other former Soviet republics except Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The CIS is a confederation of former Soviet republics in which ""coordinating bodies"" oversee common interests in the economies, foreign policy, and defense of its members.

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