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  Saturday, January 25, 2020
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No organizations in the former Soviet Union can be effective without Russia
No organizations in the former Soviet Union can be effective without Russia, a senior member of Russia's upper house of parliament said Tuesday. Mikhail Margelov's comments came as four post-Soviet republics - Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova - are holding a summit in Kiev of a grouping seen by some as an attempt to counterbalance Russian influence in the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose alliance of former Soviet states. "Any friendship [or] partnership against [Russia] is ineffective," Margelov, the chairman of the Federation Council's international affairs committee, told journalists commenting on the GUAM summit in Kiev. GUAM leaders earlier Tuesday adopted a charter changing the group's status and renaming it the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development. Margelov said the four nations that comprise GUAM were "closely linked to Russia's economy, as well as other CIS countries, as ... the division of labor within the [former] U.S.S.R. has not yet been overcome." Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov said earlier that GUAM was not an anti-Russian organization. "There is no anti-Russian factor, and it is purely a matter for the countries gathered in Kiev [today]," he said.
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