President Emomali Rahmon will participate in an informal meeting of the CIS presidents that will take place in St. Petersburg next week, an official source within the Tajik president’s press service told Asia-Plus in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

According to him, Emomali Rahmon will stay in Russia’s northern capital on December 25-26.  Tajik leader is reportedly expected to hold a number of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the upcoming CIS informal summit.

Meanwhile, CIS Secretary-General Sergei Lebedev told reporters on November 30 that an informal meeting of the CIS presidents will take place in St. Petersburg on December 26.  

“St. Petersburg is set to host two important events on December 25-26. These are the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Supreme Council at the level of the presidents on December 25, and an informal meeting of the CIS presidents on December 26,” Sergei Lebedev said.

According to him, Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited his counterparts to St. Petersburg on December 26 to communicate in an informal setting, discuss topical issues, and exchange views.  

The CIS covers much of the former Soviet Union, including as full members Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Moldova, as well as Turkmenistan as an “associate.” 

Ukraine, which participated in the CIS since its inception, never actually ratified its charter – disagreeing with the document’s positioning of Russia as the only legal successor state to the Soviet Union.  Kyiv ceased its participation in the statutory bodies of the CIS in 2018 although it remains a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area.  To fully terminate its relationship with the CIS, Ukraine would need to legally withdraw from the Creation Agreement, which it has not done.

It is to be noted that Moldova is also distancing itself from the CIS, but leaving is might not be so easy.