Ratification of the agreement on the CIS in Moscow
The meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR began at 10 a.m. with a speech by Boris Yeltsin. Before you ask audience members to support the agreement concluded by the heads of the three republics in Belarus, he said that the only alternative to agreement is a “further disintegration”.
Yeltsin highlighted the key provisions of the Treaty:
- The USSR ceases to exist.
- The agreement suspends the process of “spontaneous, anarchic disintegration” of the common space.
- Republic retain a common currency unit, the ruble.
- States provide each other with open borders and freedom of transit.
- Price liberalization in the republics will happen at the same time — on 2 January 1992.
- The parties intend to create a defensive Alliance with a unified command.
- CIS ready to join Armenia supports the idea of Kyrgyzstan.
The front page of the evening edition of the newspaper “Izvestia” of December 12, 1991
After that, Yeltsin answered questions of deputies. One of them concerned the legality of the ratification of the agreement in the Supreme Council of the RSFSR. Deputy Ilya Konstantinov said that it is constitutional, and therefore requires additions to the Constitution of the RSFSR. This Yeltsin replied that the ratification of the agreement in the Supreme Council is “completely natural way”, and if after it will need to amend the Constitution, “it will be decided then legislative procedure”.
Article 104 of the Constitution of the RSFSR
The highest organ of state power of the RSFSR is the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation <…> the adoption of the Constitution of the RSFSR, introduction of changes thereto; submission for the approval of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of formation of new Autonomous republics and Autonomous regions within the RSFSR; the approval of the state plans for economic and social development of the Russian Federation, the state budget of the RSFSR and reports on their implementation; the formation of accountable authorities exercised exclusively by the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR.
After questions and answers the deputies were given an hour for discussion, then after a short debate a vote was held. The participants were 201 people. Voted 188 deputies, seven abstained and only six people voted against. The results of the vote was greeted with prolonged applause.
This news made a dismal impression on the deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, parallel to the meeting in the Kremlin. This body still continued to work, but in fact has virtually no influence on the situation in the country. Another blow for allied parliamentarians was the news that the Belarusian MPs were recalled from the Supreme Council by the decision of the Republican Council.
The meeting lasted about 20 minutes, the hall was filled with almost a third and on the podium sat only four people.
Meeting in Ashgabat
In the evening in the Small hall of the presidential Palace in Ashgabat brought together the presidents of Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Around midnight the head of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov told reporters about the meeting.
“The desire of the leaders of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to create on the site previously disenfranchised republics of the Commonwealth of independent States is perceived by us with understanding. The entry of all the republics in the CIS on the rights of the founders, that is, on absolutely equal rights is our main condition,” — said Niyazov.
He added that in December the leaders of the five countries participating in the meeting in Ashgabat will meet in Alma-ATA the heads of the three Slavic republics. The meeting may be signed octagonal knot. the agreement establishing the Eurasian Commonwealth of independent States.
The reaction in the Kremlin
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was supposed to have a meeting with deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. She was supposed to start at 16 o’clock, but ultimately did not take place.
In the evening Gorbachev held a small meeting with journalists, in which he said that if the Republic will approve started in Belarus the process of creating a new community, he will agree with this choice and are ready to participate in the process. He said that remains a supporter of the Confederate States, but is ready to do everything to the choice of the people occurred in the constitutional framework.
“For the first time in a normal, ordinary day, coming to my office, I saw that there is no case <…> the day — not a single service call.
The evening [Gorbachev] called me. Sad. Asked about his impressions of the Russian Parliament, which ratified the Belavezha agreement… marveled At the insults cosmonaut Sevastyanov who has declared from the rostrum of the Parliament, the document is weak, but well that the “Gorbachev era” is over. Small, thick people! The era of Gorbachev is just beginning!” Anatoly Chernyaev, “the diary of the assistant to the President of the USSR”
The foreign press
- “The President [US President George] Bush said yesterday that the future of the Soviet Union was “the case of the republics themselves and the center to sort… we can’t make any predictions on this score. That’s their business” (The Times).
- “Push the nationalist-minded deputies from the opposition, to which he formerly belonged to Mr. Shushkevich (leader of Belarus. — ) I promised to return to Moscow with seven new requirements. Belarus wants its own currency, customs barriers, the army and the share of foreign exchange reserves of the former Soviet Union, which are claimed by Russia. Landlocked state even requires the merchant fleet” (The Guardian).
- “The defence Ministers of the NATO countries intend to seek to be put off the meeting with his counterparts in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, expressed alarm yesterday over the possible breakdown of political control of the Soviet Armed forces and arsenals of nuclear weapons” (The Times).
Other news of the day
- The President of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic Leonid Petrosyan requested to consider the inclusion into the CIS.
- France had printed coupons reusable banknotes, which prior to January 1992 must enroll in free circulation in Ukraine along with the Soviet ruble. The party of coupons are delivered to Kyiv military transport aircraft.
- The Parliament of Moldova adopted decision within ten days to dismantle illegal armed groups in Transnistria and Gagauzia, which held its own referendum on independence.
- The Parliament of Czechoslovakia equated communism with fascism, the leader of the local Communist party announced a hunger strike.
- Current and former head of the Central Bank of Mongolia arrested: they are accused of incompetence, which led to the loss of us $82,4 million