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Putin Says There Is Agreement That CIS Needs Reform

26 August 2005 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said that leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) agreed at their summit meeting today in Kazan on the need for fundamental reform.

"It has been 15 years since the creation of the CIS, and it is obvious that its mission today, its current goals, are based on outdated moral concepts and working methods, which is something that practically all of my colleagues mentioned several times and on different occasions," Putin told a post-summit news conference.

Putin said all participants agreed the CIS should continue as an institution. But he said there should be broad discussion among politicians as well as civic leaders in all CIS countries on how best to modernize it.

Putin today hosted the Kazan summit, which coincides with 1,000-year-anniversary celebrations of the city, the capital of Russia's Republic of Tatarstan.

CIS leaders, at the summit, signed several declarations, including a document on cooperation in humanitarian projects and combating illegal migration as well as extremism.

(ITAR-TASS /local television reports)