(RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) had lost its relevance, the presidential press service reported.

The two-day summit of the post-Soviet bloc, which started on Friday in Moldova's capital, Chisinau, was sparsely attended, with the presidents of the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan not making the trip to Chisinau.

"I believe that the CIS as a format has lost its relevance a long time ago," Yushchenko told reporters after the summit.

However, he said CIS summits still give leaders of the member countries an opportunity to meet and discuss a number of problems.

The participants signed 22 agreements during the summit, in particular, on anti-crisis measures, humanitarian and security integrtation and optimization of CIS activities.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met Moldovan, Azerbaijain and Armenian leaders at the smmit but cited a tight schedule as a reason for being unable to hold talks with his Ukrainian counterpart.

Moldova's acting President and parliament speaker Mihai Gimpu also said on Saturday that the CIS had run its course.

"The CIS is like an old woman who is waiting for her death," he said.

But he said Moldova benefited from "its participation in CIS economic schemes," adding that financial aid from CIS donor states was vital.

The Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that the next CIS summit will take place in Moscow in December 2010.

The former Soviet states of Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine are members of the CIS. Georgia recently withdrew from the organization.


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