Moldova plans to withdraw from all agreements – totaling around 330 – signed within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) by the end of 2024.
Doina Gherman, a Moldovan lawmaker from the Action and Solidarity Party, said in a TV interview that Moldova is in its final stage of withdrawal, although it might not be marked with a formal declaration.
The CIS is a regional intergovernmental organization consisting of member states from the former Soviet Union formed in 1991 upon its dissolution. It advocates cooperation in economic, political and military affairs among some of the post-Soviet nations, which differs from the EU’s more structured governance model.
Moldova’s withdrawal from the Russian-led bloc, of which it has been a member since its independence in 1991, would be a significant step for Moldova in severing its ties to Russia.
“We are almost at the final stage. We proposed completing [this process] as a goal by the end of 2024. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few unresolved questions… Now we are technically terminating the agreements signed within the CIS.
“This process does not necessarily have to end with some kind of statement or expression of a final position on withdrawal,” Gherman said.
Moldova, a former Soviet state bordering with southern Ukraine, has taken an increasingly pro-Western stance since Russia’s full-scale invasion. The existence of the separatist Russian enclave of Transnistria inside its territory, which continues to threaten its sovereignty, has played a large part in Moldova’s distrust of Moscow.
Moldova’s plans to withdraw from the organization started in March 2022, after it applied to join the EU. Moldova will be excluded from the bloc’s Interparliamentary Assembly, its legislative body, in February 2024, for which the country paid approximately $332,600 in annual membership fees.
On Dec. 14, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Moldova’s presence in the CIS as “not of great value,” even taunting Moldova by saying that it will likely suffer without the Russian market and gas supplies, Russian state media TASS reported.
Armenia, a CIS member state and long-time Russian ally, opted out of a CIS summit in November this year. Many have interpreted this as a sign of a deteriorating relationship between Russia and Armenia after the former failed to fulfill its security guarantees, which saw the capture of Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh, a contested territory, by Azerbaijan.
Ukraine was a founding state, but never a full member of the bloc, as it never rectified the charter. It had minimal participation in the bloc before fully severing its ties in 2018 over Russia’s invasion of the Donbas and annexation of Crimea in 2014.
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