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As a sort of a successor organization to the Soviet Union, which itself was a successor to the Russian Empire, it would seem that some of the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States would fear Russian domination. In real terms, Russia is much more economically and militarily powerful. Nevertheless, as an international organization, the CIS surely has rules and regulations that govern its behavior.

How does the CIS set its agenda and carry out its mission? Are there any checks on institutions within the CIS? Is there any checks on Russian power specifically?

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    This seems to be several questions in one. The agenda and the formal list of CIS-affiliated institutions are listed in Wikipedia article, including military, trade/customs, etc. However, I would not pay much attention to the "union", 3 of 11 members of which have suffered another member's armed invasions and occupation, and four more have trade wars (import blockade) raised by the Russia. – bytebuster May 23 '16 at 22:15
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    That's a fair interpretation, but it is intended as a single question--the first one--with the follow on questions narrowing, not widening the scope. – The Pompitous of Love May 23 '16 at 23:42
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Well, your initial assumptions are more or less correct and the СНГ (or CoIS in English) is mostly dominated by Russia. Unlike in the EU in this collaboration we could clearly see the leader which is overwhelmingly larger and more powerful than any other member.

On the other hand I have to mention that there is nothing special in CoIS procedures, they are mostly same as in any other inter-state collaboration. It has headquaters in Minsk which perform day-to-day organizational operations. It has the Assembly which is formed from the presidents of each member of the CoIS which perform negotiations, form the agenda for discussions etc. The decisions are made as usual - by consensus i.e. simple majority vote. Each country has one vote, so countries are not any different from CoIS perspective.

  • Is there any kind of (founding) treaty or organization diagram about the CoIS available? Is there some kind of voting power associated to the members? How to they make their decisions? I guess these things are what the question wanted to know. – Trilarion Mar 9 '18 at 13:31

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