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Georgia To Officially Withdraw From CIS

TBILISI -- Georgia will officially end its membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as of August 18, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Officials in Georgia's State Chancellery told RFE/RL that Tbilisi plans to sign bilateral agreements with CIS member countries on visa-free travel, special customs taxes, and other issues previously defined by the CIS.

Tbilisi's main priority in that matter will be its further cooperation with its more active economic partners, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the officials said.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announced his country's quitting the Commonwealth on August 12, 2008, after Russian forces entered Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.