Russia: CIS Executive Secretary 'regrets' absence of Kiev delegation at CIS meeting in Sochi

Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Sergei Lebedev stated that the CIS «regrets» the absence of the Ukrainian delegation at the extended CIS foreign ministers' meeting, when speaking at a press conference held alongside Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, in Sochi, Tuesday. Lebedev said that the CIS executive board «regrets the absence of the delegation from... Еще Ukraine in the course of a fairly confidential exchange of views at the foreign ministers' level.» He went on to say that despite that fact that the Ukrainian representatives had not attended the CIS meeting, he «cannot help but express my contentment, as the CIS executive secretary, for the statements that have been uttered by the foreign ministers of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, who confirmed their readiness for a more active participation in the activities of the Commonwealth of Independent States.» Lavrov noted that «two important documents have been approved» at the meeting, with one addressing «the issue of cooperation in combating the legalisation of incomes obtained by criminal means and countering the financing of terrorism as well as the financing and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction» and the other one tackling corruption. The Commonwealth of Independent States is a regional organisation formed by former Soviet Republics following the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is aimed at developing common strategies in the realm of trade, finance, lawmaking and security. It has also promoted cooperation on cross-border crime prevention. It unites Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as Ukraine and Turkmenistan as participating states.

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