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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Medvedev, Yushchenko Won't Meet at CIS Summit

CHISINAU, Moldova —President Dmitry Medvedev will not hold talks on Friday with Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko at the summit of a Moscow-dominated alliance of former Soviet states.

The lack of one-to-one dialogue underscores tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Medvedev has publicly blamed Yushchenko for conducting an anti-Russian policy. Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said the Russian leader will meet with other presidents of former Soviet states at the two-day summit in the Moldovan capital, but no talks are scheduled with Yushchenko.

The Commonwealth of Independent States was formed in the dying days of the Soviet Union as a loose alliance. It has taken little definitive action and is seen largely as a way for Russia to try to exert regional influence.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan will meet Friday to discuss a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The summit began Thursday with a meeting of foreign ministers from the alliance.

Issues being discussed include strengthening security and cooperation in joint border and migration policies, Russia's foreign ministry said. 
The presidents of the Central Asian nations of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will not attend, and their countries will represented by lower-level officials.

Georgia withdrew from the alliance in August after a war broke out in 2008 with Russia. Georgia says the five-day war started with a Russian invasion of the separatist region of South Ossetia and that Russia aimed to regain control of Georgia. Russia says the fighting started with a Georgian assault.