Russian President Vladimir Putin is keen to deepen and strengthen relations with the former Soviet republics, particularly those which initially formed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and joined the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) after the breakup in 1991. Russia was internationally recognized as the successor state to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics out of which 15 sovereign states emerged and re-emerged.
The three Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – were the first to declare their independence, between March ...
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