23 Apr 2018 17:38

CIS Executive Committee didn't get official notice from Ukraine on leaving CIS - Lebedev

MINSK. April 23 (Interfax) - The CIS Executive Committee has not received an official notice from Ukraine on its withdrawal from the CIS, Sergei Lebedev, chairman of the CIS Executive Committee and CIS Executive Secretary, said.

"I am officially telling you that no reports, official notifications, or requests have been received by CIS bodies from Ukraine," Lebedev told reporters in Minks on Monday.

Asked how realistic Ukraine's exit was, Lebedev said: "It is hard to say."

"Sentiments there are changing almost every day. But we did not discuss this topic with Ukraine's representatives. Moreover, I have to say that my letters and queries to Ukraine have so far remained unanswered," Lebedev said.

Two weeks ago President Poroshenko instructed his government to consider the country's withdrawal from the CIS.

The CIS Executive Committee took note of "the announcement by Ukrainian President Poroshenko" regarding a withdrawal from the Commonwealth, Lebedev said.

"But so far it is only an instruction. We have yet to see what decision the [Ukrainian] government will make and what recommendations will be given," he said.

Most CIS countries tend to agree that Ukraine's withdrawal will benefit neither Ukraine itself nor other members, the CIS executive secretary said.

"Due to its geographic location and close long-time relations with the Commonwealth nations, Ukraine is, of course, seen as our neighbor, our partner, and most CIS countries would want it to remain our good neighbor and our partner in future," Lebedev said.

"We are keen to preserve broad cooperation with Ukraine," he said.

It was reported that on April 12 Poroshenko ordered that the government prepare proposals over Ukraine's formal termination of its CIS membership. He also said that all of the national regulatory framework aligned with the CIS' should be reviewed from the perspective of national interests. Furthermore, Poroshenko urged foreign partners to review their agreements with Russia on the subject of "sensitive spheres of cooperation."

In mid-March the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said it had prepared proposals on CIS withdrawal.

Ukraine was among the three signatories (along with Russia and Belarus) to the CIS treaty on December 8, 1991. However, it did not sign the CIS Charter approved at a CIS summit in Minsk in January 1993. Since the spring of 2014 Kyiv has minimized its participation in CIS events.