was founded on December 8, 1991 in Viskuli residence of the Belarusian government in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, when the leaders of Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine signed the CIS Creation Agreement. On December 21, 1991, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, the leaders of eleven of the post-Soviet sovereign states (all except the three Baltic states and Georgia) signed the Protocol to this Agreement.
In accordance with the Protocol, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkmenistan, the Republic of Ukraine, and the Republic of Uzbekistan formed the Commonwealth of Independent States based on the principles of equality. Georgia joined the Commonwealth in December 1993, but terminated its CIS membership on August 18, 2009.
The Commonwealth’s member-states are independent and equal subjects of international law.
Interaction between nations within the framework of the Commonwealth is conducted through its coordinating institutions, namely, the Council of Heads of State, the Council of Heads of Government, the Interparliamentary Assembly, and the Executive Committee.