The Commonwealth of Independent States has proved its worth "as a vital and unavoidable form of integration on the post-Soviet space," Russia's President Vladimir Putin said opening a plenary session of the CIS summit in Moscow. In his words, the CIS proved its worth also "as a major international and regional organisation," whose unifying, coordinating and stabilising functions have long become apparent. Russia and other CIS countries, said the president, "has been and remains an outpost in the struggle against the evils of terrorism, illegal migration, drug trafficking and weapons smuggling." Vladimir Putin pointed out that the past ten years marked a certain stage in the fulfilment of major tasks, despite the mistakes the CIS countries made. The main results and lessons of the past ten-year period were outlined in the analytical report that is the first item on the agenda today.
The Ilyushin 20 (Il-20) military electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the Russian Air Force with 14 servicemen on board that went off radar screens off the coast of Syria was shot down by Syrian air defense systems over the Mediterranean Sea