TBILISI: Georgia has officially finalized all legal procedures necessary for its withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Georgia's foreign ministry said Tuesday.
"In August 2008, Russia...carried out occupation of the inalienable parts of the Georgian territory, ethnic cleansing and recognition of the so-called 'independence' of the proxy regimes set up by Russia on the occupied territories," said the ministry in a statement published on its website.
"Based on the foregoing, Georgia made a decision to withdraw from the CIS," it said.
"In accordance with the Vienna 1969 Convention on the Law of Treaties, Georgia remains part of the 75 multilateral agreements, which is not conditional on CIS membership, including the agreement on visa-free movement of nationals of the CIS member states, and agreement on the creation of free trade zone," it added.
Georgia reaffirms its readiness to develop its bilateral relations with CIS member states based on the principles of friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as inviolability of borders and noninterference in internal affairs, said the statement.
Georgia, which joined the regional bloc in December 1993, declared to quit it after a five-day war with Moscow over its breakaway region of South Ossetia last August.
The CIS Charter stipulates that formal withdrawal can only take effect 12 months after the CIS executive committee is notified of the decision.
The CIS, an alliance of 11 former Soviet republics, groups Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Turkmenistan.