Common aspirations for Russia and former Soviet Republics


With the geopolitical situation, President Vladimir Putin’s choice of foreign heads of state and government for new year greetings distinctively reflected a cross-section of Russia’s “friends” around the world. While the United States, Europe, Ukraine and the Baltics at the end of 2022 were excluded, the former Soviet republics prominently featured in the public information posted on the Kremlin website.

It also indicated that the Kremlin administration prefers Russia strengthening relations with the selected members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). And of course, that should be the utmost priority in this emerging multipolar world for Russia.

With the Republic of Abkhazia Aslan Bzhania, President Putin noted that the relations between Russia and Abkhazia are developing dynamically, in the spirit of alliance and strategic partnership. He expressed confidence that in 2023, they will continue constructive work together on current issues of the bilateral and regional agendas for the benefit of the brotherly nations and in the interests of stronger security and stability in the Caucasus.

The Russian leader congratulated both the President of the Republic of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan and Prime Minister of the Republic Nikol Pashinyan, noting that the outgoing year was marked by anniversaries for Russia and Armenia.

Thirty years ago, the countries established diplomatic relations. Twenty-five years ago, they signed the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance. In the course of this year’s political contacts, the countries reinforced the strategic nature of their bilateral alliance and outlined steps to further develop their partnership in different areas, including within the EAEU, CSTO and CIS.

In his greetings to President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Russian President stressed that in 2022, the two countries reached a new level of allied cooperation.

Bilateral trade is breaking records, cooperation in transport and humanitarian affairs is progressing fast, along with region-to-region cooperation. Joint efforts will ensure further expansion of the entire scope of Russia-Azerbaijan ties in the interests of the two friendly nations, stronger security and stability in South Caucasus and in the Caspian Sea region.

The Republic of Belarus has working closely with the Russian Federation since the collapse of the Soviet era. Putin’s message to President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, emphasized their close alliance.

Russia and Belarus rose to the occasion and withstood the challenges throughout the outgoing year. “Not only did they successfully resist unprecedented political and sanctions pressure, they also strengthened the institutions of the Union State, built reliable defenses on its western frontiers, fast-tracked integration and expanded bilateral cooperation in many spheres”, noted Putin.

He further praised the relationship of camaraderie and trust forged with Alexander Lukashenko that makes it possible to rapidly resolve the most complicated matters. He also expressed hope that they will continue to work together to bolster the entire range of Russia-Belarus ties.

In the message of greetings to President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Putin reminded that Russia-Kazakhstan relations continue to rapidly develop on a firm basis of principles of strategic partnership, alliance and neighborliness. According to his estimation, bilateral trade numbers were good during the previous years, and the two countries successfully carried out large joint projects in industry, energy and other fields.

In addition, Putin expressed confidence that they will work together to further enhance multi-dimensional cooperation and continue their coordinated work within the EAEU, CSTO, CIS and SCO – to serve the common regional interests that primarily contribute to the stability and security in Central Asia, the Caspian Sea region and across Eurasia in general.

With the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the Russian leader stressed that the strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Kyrgyzstan are growing stronger as the countries actively cooperate within Eurasian integration frameworks, joining forces against challenges to regional and international security.

He expressed hopes of continuing to work together to advance constructive bilateral cooperation across all areas for the benefit of the peoples of Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

With President of the Republic of South Ossetia Alan Gagloyev, he noted, in his message, that relations between the two countries are moving forward, with Russia supporting socioeconomic assistance programs in South Ossetia. He expressed readiness to continue building up bilateral cooperation across the board in 2023, for the benefit of the brotherly peoples and in the interests of stability and security in the South Caucasus.

Moscow and Dushanbe have coordinated their efforts within the CIS, CSTO and SCO to counter threats and challenges to regional security, and so Putin expressed readiness to continue working together closely on the current matters relating to these bilateral and international agendas.

Putin further emphasized that Russia-Tajikistan relations developed dynamically in the spirit of alliance and strategic partnership. The political dialogue progressed as planned at all levels, with joint mutually beneficial projects carried out, including trade and economic and humanitarian projects.

In his messages of greetings to President of the Republic of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Speaker of the People’s Council of National Assembly of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, he frankly noted that 2022 was quite a successful year for the relationship between the two countries.

In particular, they signed a declaration on strengthening the strategic partnership that created conditions for qualitative progress in Russia-Turkmenistan ties in key areas.

“I hope we will continue our constructive joint work, on a bilateral basis, within the CIS, UN, in Central Asia + Russia format and the Caspian Five. This cooperation serves the core interests of our friendly peoples and helps bolster regional security and stability”, Putin added.

Addressing President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Putin highlighted the fact that 2022 marked 30 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and Uzbekistan and, based on recent results, the two countries are continuing to advance their strategic partnership and alliance across the board.

The Russian leader noted that he hopes to continue joint work aimed at stepping up productive bilateral cooperation in all areas, as well as the partnership within the CIS, SCO and other multilateral frameworks, which, as he believes, serves the core interests of their countries and contributes to stability and security in Central Asia.

As popularly referred to as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), it is a regional intergovernmental organization in Eurasia. It connects all the former Soviet republics, except the Baltics. It was formed following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.


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