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Commonwealth of Independent States to meet in Moscow

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Commonwealth of Independent States to meet in Moscow

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Photo: Jack Losh

A meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) will be held today in Moscow.

The bloc of post-Soviet republics will use today’s meeting to explore prospects for deepening multilateral cooperation within the organisation. To that end, CIS will likely prioritise law enforcement cooperation, particularly in improved intelligence sharing to counter transnational crime. Additionally, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to convene with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia during the meeting to discuss the issue of the return of Armenian prisoners of war from Azerbaijan.

Expect the side talks to continue with efforts to restore an atmosphere of trust between Armenia and Azerbaijan as the source of the conflict—the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region—remains strategically important to Russian energy interests. Meanwhile in Armenia, snap parliamentary elections have been announced for this June to address political deadlock after months of demonstrations demanding Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s resignation. Domestic political instability in Armenia is likely to deepen ties with Russia as Yerevan seeks to leverage what little influence it still has in Nagorno-Karabakh by remaining loyal to Moscow. Closer Russia-Armenia relations would be significant, especially as Russia seeks to promote the idea of a union state with Belarus.

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