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Parliament speaker Nino Burdjanadze (file photo) (epa)
22 November 2005 -- The parliament of Georgia decided today to open discussions on whether the country should remain in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
At today's session, a majority of lawmakers voted to consider the issue.
Speaker Nino Burdjanadze backed the decision, but pointed out that the move does not signal the start of procedures to leave the CIS. Instead, she said, it is only the start of a review of the expediency of Georgia's remaining in the grouping of former Soviet republics.
Georgian lawmakers' decision today came after Georgia last week boycotted a CIS parliamentary meeting in St. Petersburg after Russian authorities delayed issuing an entry visa to one of the members of the Georgian delegation.
The incident caused a diplomatic spat between Georgia and Russia.