If the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) hope to improve upon their traditional models for interaction, it will be important for them to enhance their ability to adapt to the new realities of the global economy, says Ulugbek Khasanov, a former Uzbek presidential aide and head of the Regional Security and Conflicts Study Lab at the University of World Economics and Diplomacy in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
In order for the Commonwealth to take stock of its ability to recreate itself as a relevant organisation after years of relative neglect, it must first reflect upon the specifics of its history. After the unified command economy of the Soviet Union collapsed, the post-Soviet states faced difficult conditions as they strived to establish their sovereignty and build relations with each other, eventually leading to a tectonic shift in the economic landscape of Eurasia.
The establishment of the Commonwealth, to some extent, mitigated the hardships faced by the former Soviet republics in the first years after the USSR’s collapse. Taking into account the historically short existence of this organisation, and the complexity of the process of transforming past relations between the republics into a framework capable of reflecting new realities, there is the need for the further development of joint technological projects, innovative interstate research sites, and start-ups; these should constitute a basic component of the relationship between the sovereign states of the Commonwealth.
Naturally, given that such major systemic and structural changes affect a vast territory, the question arises of their impact on the system of international relations, both in Eurasia and throughout the world. Indeed, the old bipolar world order, dominated by the two superpowers, has given way to a more complex multipolar structure.
If they hope to improve upon the established framework for interaction, it will be important for the Commonwealth states to enhance their ability to adapt to the new realities of the global economy, develop new and effective mechanisms for industrial and technological partnerships, and assign new importance to investment cooperation. Perhaps such a necessity is dictated by the discussion and adoption of the Declaration on Strategic Economic Cooperation recently issued by the CIS member states.The importance of such cooperation is evidenced by the data on foreign trade turnover of the Republic of Uzbekistan for January-June 2019, which amounted to $19,683.2 billion. The countries of the Commonwealth account for 29.4% of this, and the overwhelming majority of the country's imports consist of industrial machinery and equipment.