Currently, the Commonwealth includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
On Monday, Russia's President Vladimir Putin will meet with eight leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), in the city of Saint Petersburg.
The meeting is expeted to be attended by Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinián and the presidents Alexandr Lukashenko (Belarus), Ilham Aliyev (Azerbaijan), Kasim-Yomart Tokaev (Kazakhstan), Emomali Rachmon (Tajikistan), Serdar Berdimuhamedov (Turkmenistan), and Shavkat Mirziyóyev (Uzbekistan).
According to local media, the CIS leaders will take stock of the year that is closing, address issues of mutual cooperation, and discuss some current international issues.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that the countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the CIS previously agreed to intensify the exchange on military matters.
Shoigu explained that the participants in the CIS meeting recognized the need to improve the information exchange mechanism related to security and periodically hold operational and combat training exercises.
Created in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the CIS currently includes Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Ukraine and Turkmenistan have not participated in the CIS meetings for years, although they have the status of founding States.
CIS's last official summit took place in October in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, where Putin offered his colleagues to meet unofficially at the end of the year in Saint Petersburg.