The preparations for the summit in Alma-ATA
See you in the capital of Kazakhstan, which should gather the leaders of the former Soviet republics, remains only two days. The place is in full swing preparing for the event: it is expected that it will arrive more than 400 journalists, including more than 120 foreign.
Observers wonder how many leaders will come to Kazakhstan. This, apparently, will directly impact on the CIS: after the end of the summit it could be eight to ten States. The heads of the republics will arrive in Almaty on 20 December, the summit will start a day and will last for two days.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin, meanwhile, went on an official visit to Italy. It will last two days, the Russian leader was invited by President Francesco Cossiga. Before leaving for Rome Yeltsin said that the main purpose of his visit is recognition of the Italian side of the Russian statehood and the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Another important topic of the talks was the granting by Italy of loans and food supplies in the Russian Federation. This question was solved positively in the first day of the visit it became known that Italy will provide Russia with approximately $1.25 billion.
In another interview with the Italian press Yeltsin said that Gorbachev should resign from the post of President of the USSR until the end of December. The announcement came amid rumors that the Soviet leader had already written a letter of resignation with an open date. In the Kremlin this information was quick to refute.
The President of the RSFSR Boris Yeltsin (left) and Italian President Francesco Cossiga before the talks in Rome. 19 Dec 1991
Photo: Dmitry Sokolov/TASS
Appeal To Gorbachev
The President of the USSR on the eve of the meeting in Almaty had prepared an appeal to the participants of the meeting, which was published in the leading Russian media. He said he wants to share with them the reasons how should be the relations between the republics and what place they occupy in the world community. “I think I have this right, the moral and the political,” wrote Gorbachev in his letter.
Soviet President singled out several provisions, without which, according to him, the new Commonwealth will not be able to become independent in modern conditions:
- The Commonwealth must become multicultural education at the absolute equality of States, nationalities, religions, traditions and customs.
- The citizens of the Republic together with the citizenship of their republics must also obtain the status of “Commonwealth citizen”.
- Republic needs to create a socially oriented market economy and strive to create a common Eurasian market.
- Attempts the disintegration of a common military-political security is a disaster on an international scale. The total should be military control, the military command can not be unified.
- New Commonwealth must become the subject of international law for example the European community is required to maintain at least a “minimum of common foreign policy”.
- Coordination is required in the field of science, culture, interethnic communication, the protection of monuments.
- The Supreme Council of the Soviet Union to spend the last meeting, which will officially announce the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
In his letter, Gorbachev proposed and the most suitable, in his opinion, the name for the new entity: the Commonwealth of European and Asian States (SEAG).
The abolition of the KGB
Signed on 19 December Yeltsin the decree has eliminated two of the state security Committee and the two ministries of internal Affairs ceased to exist as a Union, and the Russian structures.
The newspaper “Izvestia”, 20 December 1991
The foreign press
- “The US and NATO are concerned that the Islamic republics under the leadership of the nuclear weapon of Kazakhstan to start the likeness vnutrisosudistoi arms race”. (The Guardian)
- “It’s still not clear whether they will continue Republic to meet reduction commitments (nuclear Arsenal. — ) if political disintegration continues, and it is also not clear remains, who exactly got his finger on the nuclear launch mechanism.” (The New York Times)
- “In some republics, such as Ukraine, the interpretation of the agreement differs significantly from how they interpret Boris Yeltsin. Others, such as Kazakhstan, does not intend so quickly to abandon its new nuclear status. And those and others need to curb the desire of Russia, which, putting his hand on all that remains of the former Soviet Union, presenting itself as his natural heir, including a permanent seat in the Security Council”. (Le Monde)
Other news of the day
- The Supreme Council of the RSFSR adopted the law on mass media, which referred to the inadmissibility of censorship.
- Independence Russia recognized Romania and Finland.
- The Cossacks of Eastern Siberia and the Far East were United into a single Union and have chosen ataman.
- The Parliament of Belarus has established the land tax: its size range from 4 to 69 rubles. depending on cadastral valuation of agricultural land.
- In Moscow there are rumours that on December 20 from the mausoleum will make the body of Lenin. The commandant of the mausoleum denies.
- Romania and Moldova agreed to introduce visa-free regime from 25 December 1991.
- International human rights organization Amnesty International has announced the opening of the information Bureau in Moscow.
- In Brussels opened the winter session of the foreign Ministers of 16 NATO countries, the main theme is the fate of nuclear arsenals in the former Soviet Union.
- French private TV channel TV5 has announced mass layoffs: due to the difficult financial situation will be dismissed 576 of 820 employees, including 81 of the 104 journalists.