Official designation of the former republics of the Soviet Union that remained loosely federated in economic and security matters after the Soviet Union disbanded as a unified state in 1991. Members in 1996 were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Created on December 8, 1991, with the signing of the Minsk Agreement by Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine. The Alma-Ata Declaration, signed by eleven heads of state on December 21, 1991, expanded membership in the CIS to all other former Soviet republics except Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Moldova joined the CIS in April 1994. The CIS is a confederation of former Soviet republics in which "coordinating bodies" oversee common interests in the economy, foreign policy, and defense of its members.
an alliance made up of states that had been Soviet Socialist Republics in the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution in Dec 1991