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Ukraine, Georgia Criticize CIS At Dushanbe Meeting

Does the CIS have a future? (CTK) DUSHANBE, May 25, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Ukraine and Georgia today voiced fresh criticism of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) at a meeting in Tajikistan of the international organization.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Yuriy Melnik called for urgent reforms of the CIS, and for it to set "clear priorities."

However, he said Ukraine is not considering leaving the grouping of post-Soviet states at present.

Georgian State Minister Giorgi Baramidze said President Mikheil Saakashvili had asked his government to examine the value of the country remaining in the CIS, but he stressed that no decision has yet been made.

Ukrainian and Georgian officials claim the CIS is dominated by Russia and is not doing enough to defend the interests of other countries.