By Kester Kenn Klomegah
MOSCOW (IDN) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is keen to deepen and strengthen relations with the former Soviet republics, particularly those which initially formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and joined the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) after the breakup in 1991. Russia was internationally recognized as the successor state to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics out of which 15 sovereign states emerged and re-emerged.
The three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – were the first to declare their independence, between March and May 1990, claiming continuity from the original states that existed prior to their annexation by the Soviet Union in 1940. The remaining 12 republics all subsequently seceded. While these initially formed the CIS and most joined CSTO, the Baltic states focused on European Union and NATO membership.
In warm messages to the leaders of the republics on the eve of the New Year 2020, he stressed collective efforts at strengthening regional cooperation, maintaining security and developing a regional sustainable economy – with most of the 15 sovereign states that emerged and re-emerged from the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1991.
In his message to President of the Republic of Abkhazia Raul Khadjimba, Putin noted the dynamic development of Russian-Abkhazian relations based on the principles of alliance and strategic partnership and expressed confidence that they would further build up mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.
The Russian leader also extended New Year greetings to Armenian President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, pointing out that relations with Armenia, based on centuries-old traditions of fraternal friendship and mutual respect, are highly valued in Russia. He noted that the further development of our allied ties, constructive bilateral cooperation in all spheres, and partnership in Eurasian integration processes meet the fundamental interests of the peoples of the two states and contribute to ensuring regional security and stability.
In his greetings addressed to President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, he emphasized the high level of Russian-Azerbaijani relations and expressed confidence that Russia and Azerbaijan would jointly ensure the further development of their strategic partnership and constructive interaction, which fully meets the interests of both nations, and contributes to strengthening security and stability in the South Caucasus
The President of Russia sent holiday greetings to President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. The message highlights that a significant anniversary was marked in 2019 – the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty establishing the Union State of Russia and Belarus, a supranational union consisting of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus.
Russia and Belarus have been able to do a lot to develop the entire range of bilateral ties and implement joint projects in various fields, he said. The Russian leader expressed hope for the continuation of a substantive dialogue and constructive joint work in the coming year to develop the bilateral strategic partnership and promote mutually beneficial integration processes.
In his message to President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Putin noted the important fact that the two countries have not only fully preserved the accumulated potential of Russian-Kazakh relations, but also continue joint efforts to strengthen their strategic partnership, alliance and neighbourly contacts. According to the Russian President, the coordination of efforts between Moscow and Nur-Sultan as part of the Eurasian Economic Union, CSTO, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and other multilateral platforms has been very rewarding. Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that in the coming year, interaction between the two states would continue to develop even further.
In his New Year message to President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, Putin noted the progress in strengthening the Russian-Kyrgyz strategic partnership and alliance and expressed confidence that Russia and Kyrgyzstan would continue close mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas in 2020, which has been declared a cross-year between our two countries.
In his message of greetings to President of Moldova Igor Dodon, the Russian President highlighted the long-standing bonds of friendship and spiritual closeness between Russia and Moldova and expressed confidence that the development of constructive bilateral dialogue and cooperation in various fields meets the common interests of the two countries.
In his New Year greetings to President of the Republic of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov, Putin noted that many projects have been implemented recently that have promoted South Ossetia’s socioeconomic development and statehood, and expressed hope for continued joint work to build up bilateral cooperation on various tracks in 2020.
His greetings to President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon highlighted the intensive development of strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Tajikistan. Putin expressed confidence that the implementation of agreements achieved during Emomali Rahmon’s visit to Moscow in April will serve to further build up bilateral cooperation in all areas, as well as constructive interaction towards ensuring regional security and stability.
The President of Russia extended his New Year greetings to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, noting with satisfaction the dynamic development of the dialogue between Russia and Turkmenistan, and their constructive trade, economic, energy, and humanitarian cooperation.
Putin emphasized that Turkmenistan’s successful chairmanship of the CIS has contributed to greater effectiveness of multilateral cooperation mechanisms within the CIS. The Russian leader expressed confidence that productive joint work to strengthen the two countries’ strategic partnership would continue in the coming year.
Addressing President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the Russian President noted with satisfaction the progressive development of the strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Uzbekistan. He noted that the two states have recently accomplished a lot to expand their mutually beneficial bilateral ties in the political, trade, economic, energy, humanitarian and many other areas. Putin expressed confidence that Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s state visit to the Russian Federation in 2020 would help consolidate prior achievements and outline the prospects for further cooperation between the two states. [IDN-InDepthNews – 05 January 2020]
Image: Post-Soviet states in English alphabetical order: Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. CC BY-SA 3.0
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