A period of decay: the last Dec Union. 9 Dec 1991

Statement Gorbachev

On 9 December issued a statement of the President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev, who became its first official comment on the agreement signed in Belarus the previous day.

Gorbachev said that the document was adopted hasty and “so deeply affect the interests of the peoples of our country, the entire world community that demands full political and legal evaluation”.

“The agreement expressly declares the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Of course, each Republic has the right to secede from the Union, but the fate of the multinational state cannot be determined by the presidents of the three republics. This question should be decided only by constitutional means with the participation of all sovereign States. Illegal and dangerous the statement of termination to the Union’s legal norms, which could promote chaos and anarchy”.

Editorial in “Nezavisimaya Gazeta” of 10 December 1991

Speech Nazarbayev

Day 10 Dec elected at popular elections the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has visited the Russian capital, where he met with Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev.

After the meetings, Nazarbayev gave a press-conference on which tried to explain its position. He was clearly not pleased that Kazakhstan became a participant of the negotiation process that culminated in the signing of the Belavezha accords, therefore, remained extremely cautious in their evaluation. And stated that the agreement of the three Slavic republics should be considered as only one of the options for a new Union Treaty.

“In the draft Treaty on the Union of sovereign States (a new Union Treaty, which sought the adoption of Gorbachev. —) provides a place for the President and the Federal government. In the Minsk document is nothing there. I relate differently to Gorbachev, repeatedly criticized him, but I think that he has not yet exhausted all its possibilities. In this difficult transitional time, I think it necessary”, — said Nazarbayev.

Thus, answering the question of what he would do if the Minsk agreement will be more progressive, Nazarbayev said that will come as a pragmatist and will “start from the reality”.

Report from the press conference of the President of Kazakhstan showed in the evening news.

The reaction in the republics

The main news of the day came from Armenia: President of the Transcaucasian Republic issued a statement in which he fully supported the agreement on creation of the new Commonwealth. It is calculated as a historical step to a radical updating of relations between the former Soviet republics.

“Since Armenia adheres to the principle of participation in all creative processes, we fully support the initiative of the Slavic States and ready to discuss seriously the question of joining the Commonwealth”, — said in a statement.

The statement of Ter-Petrosian went on all international agencies, which described it as “a pleasant surprise” for Yeltsin and his new allies.

The President Of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan. Photo 1992

Photo: Aleksandr Chumichev/TASS

In the Russian press publish reports from the Union republics, which told about the positions of the authorities of these republics on accession to CIS. The example of Armenia has no consequences in the republics decided to wait, watching the positional struggle of Yeltsin and Gorbachev.

  • Zviad Gamsakhurdia (Georgia) had previously stated that after a meeting of Yeltsin, Kravchuk and Shushkevich, the Soviet Union will cease to exist, and the official statements regarding the adopted agreement has not been made.
  • The President’s Council of Turkmenistan adopted a decision “to thoroughly examine and consider all the information contained in the documents (projects on creation of the CIS and a Union contract. — )”.
  • President of independent Lithuania Vytautas Landsbergis welcomed the Minsk agreement, stating that he has no fear that Russia, Ukraine and Belarus create a new Slavic Union.
  • The Uzbek authorities did not respond to the incident, promised to develop its position in the coming days.

The foreign press

  • “Mikhail Gorbachev had ignored political realities, in fact, declared unconstitutional decisions taken in Belovezhskaya Pushcha three Slavic leaders. This position of the Soviet President threatens to exacerbate the situation in the country, where the process of independence of the republics was irreversible.” (France Press)
  • “Gorbachev acted more as a Communist and as a historian almost as the heir of the kings. He spoke about not only the USSR but also about the world “that evolved over thousands of years”, the decay of which will be very costly for all these Nations, all over Europe. <…> He said, the wise sage, taken by surprise by the situation.” (Le Monde)
  • “Setting the stage for an upcoming confrontation with Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, the Kremlin leader has questioned the legality of the agreement.” (Reuters)
  • “Despite the fact that the end of authoritarian tyranny is a definite plus, new issues arise. It is already clear that strong power in the USSR is replaced by the interrepublican disputes, perhaps exacerbated by a resurgent Russian nationalism, with increasing international risk, since the country has so far 27 thousand nuclear warheads”. (The Guardian)

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. August 1991

Photo: Boris Yurchenko/AP

Other news of the day

  • Growing tension in Nagorno-Karabakh. It became known that in the next two days there will be about 1.4 thousand demobilized soldiers of the Soviet army.
  • Cuba invited the Soviet Union to “urgently” to offer the option to exchange sugar for oil, the Soviet side thinks about this option.
  • The largest statue of Lenin ever installed in Poland offered for auction in one of the suburbs of Krakow. Bronze structure weighs 7.5 tons, its starting price is $68 thousand
  • Announced the opening of a Large sports arena in Luzhniki flea market. He will begin work December 21, entrance fee for buyers is 3 rubles, for sellers — 15 RUB.

December 1991

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