Cooperation with members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is based on traditionally very close relations. It is constantly receiving new impetus through the established partnership between the EU and this region within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and on the basis of the special relations between the EU and Russia and Ukraine.
Priority countries for cooperation with the CIS members are the Russian Federation ("Russia") and "Ukraine". Germany is the most important partner for Russia and Ukraine in many fields of research. This cooperation covers virtually all fields of research and technology. Furthermore, countries in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus are becoming increasingly important partners, for example in the search for a joint solution to global challenges. These countries are also receiving support in restructuring their research systems to meet the demands of the market economy.
Cooperation in education, research and technology is one of the main pillars of German-Russian relations. In April 2005, Germany and Russia issued a "Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership in Education, Research and Innovation", which reiterated their political willingness to continue and intensify their successful cooperation in a wide range of research areas. The 1987 Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (STC) was amended on 16 July 2009. A "German-Russian Year of Education, Research and Innovation" was successfully conducted in 2011/12 to further consolidate the partnership. (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/en/2513.php)
German-Ukrainian cooperation in science, technology and innovation as well as in education is based on a long tradition. After Russia, Ukraine is Germany's most important partner country among the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). This partnership is becoming even more important due to Ukraine's key role in the European Union's Neighbourhood Policy. (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/en/5405.php)
The other CIS members with which Germany cooperates extensively are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus. Germany also works together with Georgia, which withdrew from the CIS in 2008. Cooperation with the countries of Central Asia in particular will continue to grow in importance. Special reference should be made in this context to Germany's role in shaping the EU's Central Asia Strategy. But, cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries too, in particular Moldova and Armenia, is also becoming more intensive and successful. (URL: http://www.bmbf.de/en/12426.php)