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Central Asia news

Kyrgyz Rights Activists Support Georgia’s Withdrawal from CIS

14.08.2008 09:32 msk


Politics Central Asia

Kyrgyz human rights activists and some opposition figures support Georgia’s decision to withdraw from the union of former Soviet states, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Human rights organization Citizens against Corruption headed by Tolekan Ismailova released a statement on August 13 saying the organization “supports historical decision of the Georgian government and people to leave CIS. We support Georgia’s political development and true value of human rights and freedoms.”

Tolekan Ismailova said in the interview with Ferghana.ru that Kyrgyzstan, unlike Georgia remains “Kremlin's adjunct.”

Toleikan Ismailova
Toleikan Ismailova. Photo by © Gazeta.kg

“CIS is a club of authoritarian leaders. Situation in the Caucasus manifests that Russia is not going to give up its imperial habits. This is why for such small countries like Georgia or Kyrgyzstan it is crucial to stand up for their own independence and strive for human rights,” Ismailova said.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili announced the country is to leave the alliance of the ex-Soviet states on a rally in capital Tbilisi on August 12. Saakashvili said the CIS "has totally failed as an international organization" and it "basically could not do anything to prevent this tragedy from happening," a reference to the conflict between Russia and Georgia that began last week, CNN reported.

Saakashvili also called for the other CIS members to leave the organization “dominated by Russia.”

Kyrgyz oppositionist Azimbek Beknazarov also supports Saakashvili’s move. He thinks that the CIS failed to act as a strong organization in time when two of its member states were in the state of war.

“How can the countries in the alliance to act so irresponsibly towards another CIS member?” Beknazarov asks.

Kabai Karabekov, Deputy Chairman of the parliamentary committee on international relations thinks that CIS is not going to suffer any significant loses if Georgia leaves the union.

“On the opposite, the union will get stronger. It is clear that nowadays it is very hard to survive on your own, countries have to cooperate,” Karabekov was quoted by 24.kg as saying.

Ex-Minister for Foreign affairs, Alikbek Jekshenkulov, however, suggests that latest developments would force CIS leaders to think over organization’s future.

“CIS countries will have to decide whether the union will continue and how exactly it is going to continue, whether it is useful to each of them,” Jekshenkulov concluded.