The Commonwealth of Independent States (or CIS) is an intergovernmental organization made up of post-Soviet nations throughout Eurasia.
This organization promotes cooperation across the member states in economics, military, and political aspects. The organization also has some power over trade, finance, security, and making laws. The nations also cooperate in preventing cross-border crime.
The CIS, also known as the Russian Commonwealth, was first created in 1922 through the Treaty and Declaration of the USSR's Creation. The signing of the Belavezha Accords in 1991 dissolved the Soviet Union and replaced it with the CIS.
The CIS oversees three different organizations: the Eurasian Economic Union, the Union State, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In 2012, eight of the nine members signed on to participate in the CIS Free Trade Area.
The entire region spans over 8 million square miles and a population of nearly 240 million people. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Russia, and Uzbekistan were the founding member states.
Turkmenistan is an associate member state. It signed the agreement to join the CIS in 1991 but has not ratified the charter. Though it was a founding member, it has never been a full member and was designated as an associate member state in 2005.