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10 years of Community of Independent States

Ratanova M.P.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics existed from 1922 to 1991. Republics, that formed the USSR were closely interconnected by the numerous links: shared resources, fuel, technology, labor power, scientific, educational, cultural. The USSR possessed the strong self-sufficient resources, technologically interrelated l industrial mechanisms and the united scientific and technological potential. The geographical unity of the USSR facilitated the development of its joint infrastructure. Stable and large market contributed to the exchange of the various products, half-products and raw materials between the different republics. The construction of new plants and factories, roadways and development of agriculture and industry occurred with consideration of the integrity of the entire country.

This situation drastically changed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Baltic republics were the first to declare their independence. Subsequently, on December 8, 1991, the leaders of the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus signed the Agreement in Viskuli (Belovezhskaya Puscha) leading to formation of the Community of Independent States (CIS), thus implying, that the USSR ceases its existence as a subject of international legislation and geopolitical reality.

On December 21, 1991, in Alma-Ata, the leaders of 11 sovereign states - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine signed the Protocol for the Agreement on the establishment of the CIS, which was the part of previously signed agreement (December 8, 1991). This Protocol for Agreement stated, that all 11 countries have equal rights in CIS. In December 1993, Georgia joined the Community. Alma-Ata Declaration was ratified by the Parliaments of all the participant countries. Of all the republics of former USSR, only Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania did not join the CIS. The participation of a particular state in CIS had practically no obligations. According to the established rules of CIS, any country can claim or declare its interest in particular issues. Each country can choose its participating rules and procedures as well as collaborating activities within the CIS.

By estimates of the World Bank and according to the liberalization level of economics, CIS countries were subdivided into two groups. The first group included Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldavia, Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan. These countries carried out the most radical changes, exemplified by fast elimination of old economic institutions. The second group included Belarus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, i.e. those countries, where reformations were gradual, the state played a significant role in the reforms, and numerous old administrative regulations were preserved - e.g. state ordering, firm prices for some products, centralized distribution of the resources etc.

By the share of foreign investments in the fixed capital of the CIS, the leadership is maintained by 6 countries: Azerbaijan (44%), Armenia (24%), Georgia (34%), Kazakhstan (25%), Kyrgyzstan (60%), Moldavia (25%), Tajikistan (28%). The share of foreign investments in economics of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine is not significant. The Russia's role in the investments into CIS countries is still not significant and not even equal. More than 70% of Russia's investments fall on Belarus and more than 91% - on Belarus and Moldavia.

A financial instability was noted for all republics, exemplified by the extreme inflation rates. The inflation rates were variable. During 1993-1994, the highest inflation was recorded in Armenia, Georgia and Ukraine, where prices skyrocketed 100-113 times, and the lowest - in Kyrgyzstan and Moldavia - where prices increased 13 times, mainly due to the financial aid from international organizations and sponsor countries.

The peak of the crisis was in the middle 1990-s, when gross product in CIS in average decreased more than in 30%. A significant decrease in production rates, comparing to the level of 1991, was observed in all CIS countries. However, Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, though didn't reach the levels of 1991 by 2000, are still characterized by relatively high index of gross product - 99-79%. Ukraine, Tajikistan, Georgia and Moldavia have the lowest gross product figures comparing to the level of 1991 - i.e. less than 50%. Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia have middle parameters.

The analysis of main economic indicators as per person numbers - gross internal product, industrial production, agricultural production identifies three leading countries: Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The outsiders are Tajikistan, Armenia, Georgia and Moldavia. On average during 1991-2000, the gross internal product of CIS countries decreased on 34%, the industrial production - on 40%, agricultural production - on 28% and investment into the fixed capital

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