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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Balts Refuse CIS Invite

TALLINN, Estonia -- The Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia have declined an invitation by President Boris Yeltsin to join the Commonwealth of Independent States, officials and newspapers said Monday.

Yeltsin was reported in the Baltic media to have issued the invitation at a news conference Friday after a summit of CIS leaders in Moscow.

"As the freely elected president of Estonia, I wish to state that the Estonian nation and government have no interest in joining the CIS," Estonian President Lennart Meri said.

Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs was quoted in the newspaper Diena on Monday as saying that Latvia also rejected any idea of joining the CIS.