Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States put on a united front as they faced the press at the end of their summit in Tajikstan. But signs of simmering discontent over Russia’s continued dominance overshadowed the gathering of 12 former Soviet republics.
Kazakhstan snubbed the Kremlin by announcing plans to create an economic grouping in Central Asia without its former master, Moscow. Kazakh leader Nursultan Nazarbayev said smaller member states should have a bigger role in decision making. To that end, delegates adopted a modification to the CIS’s treaty to allow members to join other alliances if they wish. But Georgia and Ukraine, both locked in long-running trade disputes with Russia, refused to sign the document.