Ukraine and CIS: hybrid final a hybrid of participation

The final point in the history of membership in the CIS can become a starting point for beginning to have a predictable policy of the country.

Украина и СНГ: гибридный финал гибридного участия

The President of Ukraine has declared the country’s withdrawal from the Commonwealth of independent States. Or, to be precise, said that the country was never a member of the CIS. Peter is still at the Kiev security forum on 12 April 2018 requested the Cabinet to terminate participation in the statutory bodies of the Commonwealth. It’s been a month nothing really happened.

After the ego of the President at least twice (in Bykivnia and in the Europe day in Vinnitsa) has publicly stated that he had signed a decree about the withdrawal of Ukrainian representatives from the statutory bodies of the CIS.

Talked about the date may 19th, but as of the morning of may 22 the document on the website of the guarantor of the Constitution is still there. About the awards, about scholarships, about the withdrawal of representatives from the statutory bodies of the CIS no.

Strange it turns out – seems to be not involved in the work of CIS, but among the founders of this structure Ukraine is, in statutory bodies, there are representatives, if you look at the regulatory framework of the CIS, more than five hundred international agreements in the framework of the Commonwealth the signature of the Ukrainian President or Prime Minister – is. Today we are talking about withdrawal from the CIS, the first person of the country twice mentions it as the government and as a direct disposal in the form of the decree, but the document is in the public domain there.

Strange, because the basis for the actions of the state machine is signed and powered the document, not words. The decree (unless it concerns state secrets) published as published and the law. Otherwise to understand what is ordered by the President of the country, as it corresponds to the announced in the media version, it is impossible.

Some hybrid output is – we exit the structure, which is not included, but the instructions about it not yet in the public domain.

Let’s deal with it.


The Commonwealth of independent States was established by the signing of the document by the leaders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. 8 December 1991 the Agreement was signed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, as is already the 10th – ratified by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine. Later, the CIS decided to join several other States that emerged from the wreckage of the USSR. 21 December of the same year was signed the Alma-ATA Declaration, where most accession States are also called “founders of the Commonwealth”. Ukraine Declaration was signed.

In 1993 he was drafted and signed the CIS Charter, which Kiev has signed but not ratified. However, this plays no role, because:

  • In the Alma-ATA Declaration contains the basic principle of work: “Interaction between members of the Commonwealth will be carried out on the principle of equality through coordinating institutions formed on a parity basis and operating in the manner determined by the agreements between members of the Commonwealth, which is neither a state nor a supranational entity.”
  • The norm for a coordinating (but not supranational) bodies prescribed in Belovezhskaya agreement.
  • The fact that the CIS does not have supranational authority, recorded in article 1 ratified Ukraine’s Constitution: “the Commonwealth is not a state and has no supranational powers.”

Thus, nothing prevented the participation of Ukraine in the CIS. Ukraine continued to serve in the role of the founder of the Commonwealth. The official authorities in Kiev used the dual situation for their own political purposes. For the “right” audiences have stated only about the observer but not member of the CIS. For the nostalgic of the USSR public we was a state founder and state party. The latter (participant but not a member) and was used in the documents of the CIS. It should be noted that in addition to our country, the same sequence of actions chosen for Turkmenistan, which also has not ratified the Charter of the Commonwealth.

Because the obstacles to Ukraine’s participation in the coordinating structures of CIS was not official representatives of Kiev, he worked in Minsk. Presidents and Prime Ministers have signed many international agreements in the framework of the Commonwealth. Shared regulatory database contains over 2000 agreements and contracts, for a large part of them is signed by the Ukrainian representative.


But, despite the large number of signed agreements, the role of the CIS for quite a long time reduced to a minimum. The reason for the different designation of the various States. At the initial stage, almost all participants considered the existence of the Commonwealth as a way to keep economic ties, getting rid of political dictatorship. Considering that Russia is economically and geographically, was the largest party, the format of interaction can be defined as an attempt to benefit from the preservation of access to the internal market of the Russian Federation without any political risks.

In the mid-to-late 90s, the Kremlin has tried to fill the structure with another meaning, which can be defined as “Russia and its zone of influence”, but no one wanted to go on strengthening the role of the Commonwealth. Further differences between countries and different vector of development only accelerated events.

At the beginning of 2009, after the war in Georgia, the CIS has finally turned into a structure, which was more nominal and symbolic, because:

  • The post-Soviet economies have changed and the role of the Commonwealth as a system for the maintenance of the common market of the countries of the former USSR was reduced to zero – most of the participants already had other partners.
  • Russian Federation, seeing the futility of the use of the Commonwealth, focused on other projects that tie the post-Soviet States to Moscow. In the Kremlin were aware that “all delay” will not work.
  • Ukraine, in turn, tried to create an alternative Association in GUAM. But the reluctance to develop a common agenda and hope that is “created, and then somehow it will turn out” led to the fact that the structure of Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova exists today, but only on paper and in a small office on the Maidan.

Notwithstanding the above, States parties did not hurry to leave the Commonwealth. On the one hand, it could be negatively perceived by a part of its own population, on the other, in world politics was the fashion for “enterprises”, and CIS are not much interfered with. There was also the “Russian” factor in the Kremlin could painful to take such steps and to resort to the usual method of dialogue in the form of economic war. No sense to cause conflict, if Russia is not able to influence across the CIS, was not.


Back to the question of Ukraine. The impact of CIS on Ukrainian politics and economy is extremely small, but the decision to withdraw may be perceived negatively by part of the population. However, such a step is necessary.

On the one hand, it is a demonstration that the country seeks to move from the “Russian zone of influence.” Political Declaration of the Ukrainian authorities promise to the people and external partners.

On the other hand, the gap with the CIS allows you to save money and time – the participation of Ukrainian representatives in bodies of the Commonwealth required funding, membership fees also has not been canceled (though the Ukraine was not listed last years of his part). In the end, useless regular meetings of the presidents and Prime Ministers took time, even in case of refusal from participation in them – it was necessary “to consider the invitation and send a response.”

But the most important thing is the final point in a hybrid of history with membership in the CIS can become a starting point for the beginning of the formation of a normal, predictable policy of Ukraine:

  • When laws are made for their execution, and not for “tranche of the IMF”, “bezveze” and so on.
  • When signing the contract, the agreement means its implementation, not the beginning of a long dialogue about the dialogue format to develop a road map for the implementation is signed.
  • When the signed international commitments is not easy, in company with others, and after studying every comma. This will allow to avoid mistakes is akin to a Treaty of friendship with Hungary or with the Budapest Memorandum.

(For example, the language conflict with Ukraine because of the new law on education Hungary is appealing to the Treaty on good neighbourly relations and the cooperation framework between the Republic of Hungary and Ukraine, ratified in 1992. And this document article 17 upholds the Declaration “on principles of cooperation between the USSR and the Republic of Hungary” from 31.05.1991 year, and actually gives it the status of interstate agreement. Here in this second paper, has an interesting article at number 12, which deals with about religion. But the words “mayut right… stesnyat relgio operation, ukljucujuci higher education, ridnoyu movoyu”, the Ukrainian side has failed to mention “zdislavice relgio operation, ukljucujuci *relgio higher education”. The spirit of the document clearly speaks about freedom of conscience, the letter on education (without religious or not) in the Hungarian language. The trap, which hit young Ukrainian diplomacy).

This approach to evaluating further action on the termination of cooperation with the CIS countries will be significant. First, should appear in the document, which is so vividly told the President. And here then will begin “the way of the CIS” – will need to look through hundreds if not thousands of agreements signed within the Commonwealth. If necessary, negotiate with partners and to conclude new, bilateral or multilateral treaties to the new conditions. This is not a fast path, because a significant portion of the documents contains a provision on advance (often a year) the warning output. And then, alas, if signed and ratified, must be performed.

In any case, I really hope that in may 2019, the President will be able, truthfully, to say “epic hybrid participation in the CIS has been completed. We came out of the recent agreement signed in the framework of the Commonwealth”.

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