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Transcripts   /

Speech at CIS Council of Heads of State meeting in a narrow format

September 16, 2016

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Atambayev, colleagues.

I would like to begin by expressing my support for President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev’s idea to issue a statement by the heads of state and delegations to the Uzbek nation on the death of President Islam Karimov. Mr Karimov was an outstanding individual who actively contributed to the creation and operation of the CIS. I wholeheartedly support the idea, unless there are any other considerations regarding this issue. I do not think there will be any.

President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev: I would like to honour the memory of Mr Karimov with a minute of silence.

Remark: Agreed.

Vladimir Putin: Thank you.

Russia supports the statement on the 25th anniversary of the CIS that has been drafted at the initiative of Kyrgyzstan’s Presidency. We believe it is a balanced and substantive document. Most importantly, it provides an objective view on the historical role of our Commonwealth, as our colleagues have said here.

The CIS played a positive role during the period of large-scale geopolitical change after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. This helped our nations to maintain close friendly ties, despite the problems of which we all know. The CIS definitely played a positive role. This facilitated the development of good-neighbourly relations between the new sovereign states based on trust, equality and respect for one another’s interests. As I said, the CIS played a major role in this, despite certain setbacks, including some tragic ones.

It is equally important that the draft declaration reflects our shared desire to further strengthen the Commonwealth, to implement its integration potential and deepen the multifaceted partnership between all the participating countries.

I am confident that adopting this future-oriented statement will provide an additional political impetus to the ongoing work within the CIS to expand trade and investment cooperation, and stimulate cooperation in culture, education, science and sport.

The draft resolution to adapt the Commonwealth to modern realities is equally commendable. I will not repeat what my colleagues have already said here, and I generally agree with it. We think it is the right thing to do to relieve the burden on the agenda of the leaders’ summit by delegating more authority to the Council of Foreign Ministers, the Economic Council of the CIS and their ad-hoc committees.

We believe that special attention should be given to improving the effectiveness of sectoral bodies of the CIS, which should primarily focus on the development and promotion of multilateral cooperation projects that can bring real practical benefits to all participants of the Commonwealth in the economic, social and humanitarian spheres. At the same time, redundant committees need to be eliminated; their total number needs to be reduced. As was already said, we need to improve fiscal discipline and implement a more balanced personnel policy, including recruitment on a competitive basis.

Implementing adaptation will require a major collaborative effort and coordinated work of all the governing bodies, primarily the CIS Executive Committee. In this regard, of course, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that we are looking for experienced specialists, professionals familiar with all the particularities of the functioning of the CIS.

Development of the CIS will become a matters of priority in Russia’s activity within its upcoming CIS Presidency in 2017.

I would like to remind you of our proposal to hold the next meeting of the Council of Heads of State on October 11, 2017, in Moscow.

To conclude, I would like to congratulate our host today, the President of Kyrgyzstan, on hosting very interesting competitions. Our national media have covered this event. Honestly, I did not expect it to be so interesting. I am referring to the World Nomad Games. It was fantastic.

Almazbek Atambayev: Mr. Putin, the most important thing is that there are no issues of politicisation or WADA. Look who was doping after all.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, that is true. We will talk about this informally.

I am surprised by the latest hacker revelations… We do not share hacker activity, but what they have done is extremely interesting for the global community, mainly the athletic community. This raises many questions. Healthy athletes legally take medicines that are prohibited for others, although people, who suffer from severe diseases or serious disabilities, are excluded from the Paralympic Games merely on suspicion of taking certain medicines. This is outrageous, but this is a separate issue, which is not on the agenda of today’s meeting.

The fact that the President of Kyrgyzstan has held such an outstanding competition as the Nomad Games is great. My congratulations! Thank you very much.

September 16, 2016