The Council of CIS defense ministers will hold its 55th meeting in St. Petersburg on Wednesday, a spokesman for the alliance`s executive committee said, RIA Novosti reported.

During the meeting defense ministry officials from the Russian-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States are expected to consider around 20 defense cooperation issues.

The defense ministers will also focus on ways of improving the united air defense system of CIS countries.

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In the light of developments in the North Caucasus, CIS members will also review the role and activity of the collective CIS peacekeeping force in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict zone.

The CIS, a loose alliance of former Soviet states, comprises Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Moldova, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Ukraine is a founding and participating country but technically not a member state. Turkmenistan holds associate status.

RIA Novosti