On 19 May 2018, the President of Ukraine signed a decree (the “Decree”) recalling all the Ukrainian representatives from all statutory bodies of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the “CIS”).

The Decree has a rather symbolic role because, from a purely legal standpoint, Ukraine was never a member state of the CIS as it never ratified its Charter.

Historically, it was only a signatory of the CIS Formation Treaty – a now defunct international instrument which set up the CIS in 1991.

For that reason, Ukraine participated in the work of the CIS on an ad hoc basis within the framework of the selected international agreements of the CIS. Now that practice will also be over.

The Decree is a clear message from the Ukrainian government that the course of Ukrainian economic and social development is now leaning towards the EU and the rest of the world.

One can also expect that the above decision will not harm bilateral economic ties with the CIS member states as the CIS is a political, rather than economic, organisation. The President has suggested that economic relations with the CIS countries could be further regulated based purely on bilateral economic agreements between the countries.

Law: Decree of the President Law of Ukraine No. 139/2018 dated 19 May 2018 “On the Decision of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine dated 2 May 2018 “On termination of effect of certain international treaties executed in the framework of Commonwealth of Independent States”.