23 May 2018 14:13

Ukraine's withdrawal from CIS to take about 1 year - Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW. May 23 (Interfax) - Ukraine's civilized withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will take about a year, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"Kyiv stopped taking part in the activity of the CIS statutory bodies a long time ago. The aforesaid decision of the Ukrainian authorities will lead to the closure of the mission at the CIS headquarters in Moscow and the withdrawal of two diplomats running this mission," Zakharova said.

"As to Kyiv's intention to begin the formal withdrawal from the CIS, a civilized process of the sort will take some time. About one year," she said.

"We see Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's statement as another demonstrative action, which seeks to make an impression on his Western sponsors," Zakharova said. "The politicized step of Kyiv will harm average Ukrainians," she added.

Ukraine, Russia and Belarus signed the CIS founding agreement on December 8, 1991. Yet Kyiv refused to sign the CIS Charter adopted at the CIS summit in Minsk in January 1993. Ukraine's participation in CIS events was minimized in spring 2014.

Poroshenko said on May 9 he had signed an order on withdrawing all Ukrainian representatives from all CIS statutory bodies.