What will Georgia Lose by Quitting CIS?
Azerbaijan, Baku, 10 October/ Trend /
Ellada Khankishiyeva, director of Analytical Centre of TrenCapital
Georgiaїs withdrawal from CIS will deprive it from socio-economic dividends, rather than political. First of all, Georgia will be out of zone of free movement of goods, capital, labour and services within this space. Consequently, it will be deprived of preferential prices on various resources.
Foreign trade turnover of Georgia with CIS member states reached $1.5bln over seven months of 2008 which makes up 32% of its total turnover ($4.7bln).
Second, there is an agreement within CIS on mutual recognition of diplomas. Georgians with diplomas of CIS member states can be deprived of their higher education.
Third, Tbilisi has with non-visa agreements with all CIS members except Russia. It will lose its force once Georgia withdraws from it.
Besides, there are general technical regulations and agreements on the compensation of a work experience. Georgia has 40 inter-governmental agreements with only Russia in the sphere of trade and economic cooperation within CIS.
At present, the key factor of Georgiaїs economic development is its transport and geographic location. Georgia has an important location in the region from the standpoint of communications connecting Central Asia and Azerbaijan with the Black Sea ports. Hence, great part of Georgiaїs economic growth, currency flows, investments and news jobs is due to transport complex and development of transit and hydrocarbon, first of all: Baku-Tbilisi-Cehyan oil pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway which is under construction.
On 9 October, the meeting of Council of Foreign Ministers of CIS was held in Bishkek which passed a decision about Georgia withdrawal from the Organization.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced on 12 August about Georgiaїs withdrawal from CIS. Georgia will be de jure member of CIS from August 2009.
The Commonwealth of Independent States was founded on December 8, 1991 by Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, when the leaders of the three countries signed an agreement on the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of CIS as a successor entity to the USSR. On December 21, 1991, the leaders of eight additional former Soviet Republics ї Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan ї joined the Creation Agreement, thus bringing the number of participating countries to 11. Georgia joined two years later, in December 1993. As of that time, CIS included 12 of the 15 former Soviet Republics. The three Baltic states ї Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania ї had decided not to join.
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