A period of decay: the last Dec Union. 21 Dec 1991

A period of decay: the last Dec Union. 21 Dec 1991

The results of the meeting in Alma-ATA

The conference in Alma-ATA, which was to answer most questions about the fate of both the USSR and the new Commonwealth of independent States, was more than successful. Before the meeting, it was not full of confidence about what will be new, advanced CIS: many assumed that it will include eight to ten republics.

In the end, the Declaration was signed by leaders of 11 countries: at the last moment they were joined by Azerbaijan. Of the former Soviet republics in the CIS did not want to be only four: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Georgia.

The CIS includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

During the meeting in Alma-ATA, it was noted in the Russian press, has managed to overcome the “awkwardness” in a relationship “Minsk Troika”, have signed the Belavezha accords, and “the Ashgabat five” (Kazakhstan and Central Asian countries), which joined the work on creation of the CIS at a later date. A final Declaration was adopted, in fact, on the conditions of the Asian republics, which demanded that all the republics joined the Commonwealth on equal terms.

The next meeting of the CIS heads of States scheduled for 30 December 1991, she was chosen Minsk.

The main provisions of the Declaration:

  • The USSR ceases to exist;
  • the Commonwealth is neither a state nor a supranational entity, it is open for new members to join;
  • the interaction will be carried out on the principle of equality through coordinating institutions formed on a parity basis;
  • will be saved the United command of military-strategic forces and single control over nuclear weapons, the parties will respect the desire of each other to achieve the status of nuclear and (or) neutral state;
  • the members of CIS will strive for the formation and development of the common economic space, common European and Eurasian markets.

The opinions of the participants of the meeting shared the problem of the nationality of the inhabitants of the former Soviet republics. The head of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov stated that they will have dual citizenship — of the Republic, and the CIS. This caused protests from the President of Ukraine, Leonid Kravchuk, who said that no citizenship of the CIS should not be, and all such issues should be resolved directly between the republics themselves. Yeltsin noted that this question can not be unified opinion, and each Republic has the right to take an independent decision.

One of the issues that the participants of the meeting discussed privately, was the fate of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Russian President Boris Yeltsin said that he should be provided necessary conditions for the existence of the pension. The head of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev said that he intends to do everything possible in order to carry out the first and last President of the USSR with maximum honor, in no way usamu his vanity.

The reaction in the Kremlin

Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev did not publicly comment on the outcome of the Almaty meeting. According to his memories, the day he held a telephone conversation with President of France Francois Mitterrand.

“She is kind and friendly, as always — I felt that he understands what happened <…> [I] briefed him on the decisions taken in Alma-ATA. Confirmed that I intend to reckon with the realities and I will do everything that the Commonwealth gained the normal pace of development, stressed their interest in the new interstate Association became viable.” Mikhail Gorbachev, “Dec-91”.

Gorbachev told Mitterrand that in the coming days will announce its decision to leave the post of President of the USSR and will look for new forms of activities to “keep a huge business, which we began including in collaboration with France, its President personally.”

The Newspaper “Izvestia”. 23 Dec 1991

The foreign press

  • “After a week’s visit to the decaying Soviet Union, Secretary of state James Baker left with the feeling that the new Commonwealth of the republics little chance of survival, but Washington will soon have to deal with dozens of independent States with different policies and prospects for prosperity. In this picture, the former Soviet republics are now so fascinated by the idea of independence that will not be able to work together in meaningful collaboration with the joint economic and defense policy, until you feel the true value of decay”. (The New York Times)
  • “Andrei Gagarin, Deputy head of the leading nuclear research center of Moscow, sounds more like a salesman in search of a deal than as a top nuclear scientist. “The Soviet Union is still ahead of the West in several areas related to nuclear, he said. — Now we are urgently looking for ways to sell that capacity in a foreign country.” Not so long ago, the official world-famous Kurchatov Institute would find themselves in prison that such communication with foreigners. But as soon as the Soviet Union disintegrate and the budget for research is cut, scientists are trying to sell their inventions to the West in a desperate attempt to get cash.” (The Sunday Times)

Other news of the day

  • Kazakhstan became the first Republic of the former Soviet Union, a signatory of bilateral economic and trade agreements with China.
  • The government of Armenia adopted a decision to open a nuclear power plant near the town of Metsamor, closed in 1988 after the devastating earthquake in Spitak.
  • In South Africa, the ruling nationalist party signed an agreement on the commitment to a multiparty system, civil rights and liberties and independent courts. According to observers, this could lead to the eventual dismantling of the apartheid system in the country.
  • In Estonia, started a debate on the new draft Constitution, amendments to it can make every citizen of the Republic.

Chronicle December 1991

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