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CIS Government Heads Gather In Moscow

25 November 2005 -- Government leaders from the 12-member Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are meeting today in Moscow to discuss trade and security issues.

ITAR-TASS reports Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov and Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev will not attend today's meeting, as they have both chosen to instead attend a Central European Initiative summit in Slovakia.

Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Noghaideli is expected to attend the meeting. There had been speculation that he might not attend due to a diplomatic dispute between Russia and Georgia that has involved the CIS.

On 22 November, the Georgian parliament agreed to start a debate on the country's CIS status after Russia delayed issuing an entry visa to a Georgian representative due to attend a CIS parliamentary meeting in St. Petersburg.

But on 24 November, Noghaideli told Ekho Moskvy radio station that Georgia will not leave the CIS.