S.N. LEBEDOV, Chairman of Executive committee of Commonwealth of Independent States
Today the Commonwealth of Independent States embody itself as universally accepted regional international association with developed efficient system of regulative and branch organs, acting on the grounds of solid standard and legal basis. CIS is also a unique ground for the regular meetings of heads of the states and governments, allowing to make constructive dialogue in frank, friendly atmosphere, to solve the questions of cooperation in economic, humanitarian and political spheres.
However, in distant December 1991, when world society has known about Belovezh agreements and for the first time has heard the abbreviation “CIS”, events could have evolved in quite different scenario. And here we should definitely point out significant role, which played Turkmenistan in forming the present appearance of the Commonwealth of Independent States. After all, exactly in Ashgabat on 13th of December 1991 was held historical meeting of heads of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, preparing the conditions for signing Alma-Ata declaration, which was the basis for forming CIS in its present look.
Turkmenistan, along with other states, on 21st December 1991 signed the Protocol of Agreement about creation of Commonwealth of Independent States and Alma-Ata declaration, confirming devotedness of the members of CIS for equal cooperation in different areas of foreign and internal policy of neutrality as a foreign-policy model, government of Turkmenistan followed the aim not only to find its own way of development, but also to create favourable external conditions for internal stability in the state.
As we know, permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan is recognized and supported with resolution of General Assembly of UN, which was accepted 0n 12th December 1995. Taking into consideration the neutral status of Turkmenistan on 26th of August 2005 in the summit in Kazan the heads of the states of CIS took into account the statement that, Turkmenistan will continue its membership in the Commonwealth as associated member in the spirit of friendship and cooperation.
From that time Turkmenistan is showing invariable devotedness to its international-legal status, in fact verifying, that neutrality, peace-lovingness and good-neighborliness form the basic foundation of its foreign policy, aimed, among other things, at assistance in successful realization of objectives in the framework of CIS. This is also confirmed in the Concept foreign-political course of Turkmenistan for 2017-2023 years, and in statements of government of the country. So, in the Summit in Sochi in October 2017 esteemed President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov pointed out: “Although, Turkmenistan is associated member of CIS, but in its foreign policy it gives priority to the Commonwealth of Independent States as the main authoritative international organization. And further we will continue this foreign-political line, in spite of our associated and neutral status”.
Today we have all foundations to point out the increased interest of Turkmenistan in cooperation with partners of CIS. In the first place, it refers to the economic and cultural-humanitarian sphere, initiatives of conducting range of generally significant events for the CIS. Peculiar culmination of the cooperation level of Turkmenistan and the states of CIS are decisions of the state government, events and undertakings, related to presidency of Turkmenistan in the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2019. This presidency is accomplished by Turkmenistan in the person of its representatives simultaneously in the Council of heads of the states, Council of heads of the governments, Council of ministers of foreign affairs, Economic council, Council of permanent plenipotentiaries of states with authorized and other agencies of Commonwealth, as well as in Commission for economic issues of Economic council of CIS.
Fundamental, the most important aims of this responsible mission are recognized in the Concept of presidency of Turkmenistan in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was elaborated and accepted already in 2018. To those are referred:
strengthening the trust and mutual understanding between the countries-participants of CIS, assistance to initiatives, aimed at keeping stability and security in the area of CIS, strengthening of political-diplomatic cooperation by means of activating partnership among foreign-political departments of the states of Commonwealth;
increasing the level of cooperation of commonwealth with authoritative organizations, including UN and OSCE, as well as assistance in consolidation of efforts of countries of Commonwealth and international organizations in solving actual issues of many-sided cooperation;
forming favourable conditions for activating widening mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation, integration into world economic ties as a space, in which transport and energetic projects are accomplished, contemporary infrastructure, communications of logistical centres of regional significance are created;
strengthening of partner cooperation among countries of CIS in spheres of energetics, transport and communication;
support and encouragement wide cultural, humanitarian, scientific, educational, sport relations among the countries of Commonwealth.
In the framework of presidency of Turkmenistan in the CIS great number of events, aimed at further development, strengthening of collaboration and partner cooperation of our countries, were conducted and are planned to be conducted in high substantial and organizational level.
Particularly, on 31st May of current year the session of Council of heads of the states of Commonwealth was conducted, during which the wide range of documents aimed at deepening economic collaboration were considered and accepted. So, the decision, of preparing a project of an Interstate program of innovative cooperation of states of CIS for period of 2030, was made by Council of heads of governments of CIS, Agreement of cooperation of customs agencies of the states of CIS was approved, documents, ordered to widening cooperation of states of CIS in the areas of trade, customs arrangement and commodity control, their transit through the territories of the countries of the Commonwealth, as well as in the spheres of fundamental explorations and museum affairs were singed.
In the course of Turkmen Presidency, the accomplishment of event plan for realization of third stage (2016-2020) of Strategy of economic development of CIS till 2020 is being continued and simultaneously, the work of preparing the project of Strategy of economic development till 2030 is being accomplished. Amongst other economic priorities the implementation measures for Plan of top-priority events for realization of collaboration Concept of states of CIS in sphere of power industry can be noted.
As esteemed President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov fairly mentioned in the Council of heads of governments session on May 31st of current year, “today the Commonwealth needs wide and strong integrational relations of international scope, implied by participation of our countries in large-scale infrastructural projects not only in the area of CIS, but also beyond its borders… Therefore Turkmenistan advocates for widening the horizons of cooperation, persistently promote the idea of participation of CIS in realization of large scale projects souther, wester and easter from the Commonwealth, for which there are labour, resource, production and technological possibilities”.
This message of presidential side is aimed at developing efficient planned partnership and consistent integration of Commonwealth into the contemporary world economy ties. The particular practical filling of this statement was conducting I Caspian economic forum in Turkmenbashy city initiated by esteemed president of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov. This event, which was significant both for countries of “Caspian Five”, and the countries-participants of CIS, opens new possibilities for regional integration and cooperation in the areas of transport, trade, power industry, ecology, tourism, improvement of investment climate for interested sides.
Taking into account the importance of humanitarian cooperation for countries of CIS, it’s important to mention great work of Turkmen side for preparation and conducting XIV Forum of creative and scientific intelligence of states-participants of CIS, which passed with active participation of countries of Commonwealth, which directed more than 200 delegates to this representative meeting.
Forum in Ashgabat was conductive to professional intercourse of specialists in cultural-humanitarian sphere and made invaluable contribution to dialogue between distinctive cultures of sovereign states. Recommendations of further development of humanitarian cooperation in the areas of commonwealth, which were reflected in the Resolution, were formed by the participants of XIV Forum of creative and scientific Intelligence. Specifically, the significance of preservation of cultural and natural heritage, widening of cooperation among scientific, educational and cultural organizations, social associations for comprehensive study and popularization of languages, history and national traditions of countries of CIS is emphasized in the document. Undoubtedly, this key event in humanitarian life of our countries will serve as additional motivation for creation of new mutually beneficial projects.
Work for realization of a Plan of top-priority events in the sphere of humanitarian cooperation for 2019-2020, Program of support and development of national kinds of sport of CIS, strategies in the areas of youth cooperation, tourism in the time period of 2020 and etc. is being continued with an active participation of Turkmen side. By the way, in Ashgabat were held sessions of Council of humanitarian cooperation and Executive committee of Interstate fund of humanitarian cooperation, Council of cooperation in area of health protection, Inter-governmental coordinative council on seed production and other important meetings and events.
In current year on 13th of October the regular session of Economic Council of CIS was successfully conducted. The discussion of perspective directions of cooperation, Concept of collaboration in the areas of digital development of the society and Plan of top-priority events implementation, Basic directions of development of radio-navigation of states of CIS for 2019-202 and etc. were put into the agenda of this event.
10-11 October of current year, the regular sessions of Council of ministers of foreign affairs and Council of heads of the States of CIS were successfully held by the Turkmen side jointly with Executive committee of CIS. Also, on 25th of October in Moscow, conducting the Council of the heads of governments of CIS is planned.
It’s important to note, that in the framework of presidency of Turkmenistan all of above-mentioned events were conducted in the high substantial and organizational level. During negotiations in enlarged council participants of regular session of CMFA CIS discussed the issues of cooperation in political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian areas. During the meeting cooperation among foreign-political departments of states-participants of CIS, security and stability maintenance were considered. Sides agreed in opinion, that only by means of coordinated actions it’s possible to obtain political and economical integration, timely react to the challenges of modernity.
Also it’s important to mention, that as a result of session of Council of Ministers of foreign affairs of states of CIS the decisions “About program of actions for activating partnership among foreign-political departments of states-participants of Commonwealth”, “About project of address of heads of the states-participants of Commonwealth of Independent States to the nations of states of Commonwealth and world community in light of 75 years of Victory of soviet nation in Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945”, “About conducting regular session of Council of ministers of foreign affairs of Commonwealth of Independent States” and “About CIS states Games”.
As a result of session of Council of Heads of the states of CIS the mutually legitimate agreements in all aspects of cooperation of countries-participants of Commonwealth were achieved.
Undoubtedly, the main political event in the framework of Turkmen presidency will be forthcoming session of Council of heads of the states, where it’s supposed to consider wide range of issues, related to support of stability and security, partnership in trade-economic, humanitarian spheres, subjectively discuss joint steps in these aspects. It is presented, that special attention will be paid to the projects of documents, elaborated with initiative of esteemed President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov for developing stated by Turkmenistan goals of its presidency. It is a question of Program of actions for activating partnership among foreign-political departments of the states of Commonwealth and a project of Declaration about strategical economic cooperation od the states of CIS. Adoption of these documents will be powerful stimulus for strengthening joint positions of countries of commonwealth on major regional and global problems, consolidation of all architecture of economic cooperation of CIS countries.
Thus, initiative and interested approach of Turkmen side, to the implementation of the mission presidency, personally esteemed President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Malikgulyyevich Berdimuhamedov showed and continues showing perceptible positive influence to joint efforts to achievement both short-term and long term goals of Commonwealth of independent States.