How Treaty Would Divide Powers in the Soviet Union

By Daniel Sneider, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 5, 1991 | Go to article overview
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How Treaty Would Divide Powers in the Soviet Union


Daniel Sneider, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


THESE are the main points of the third draft of a new draft union treaty intended to replace the December 1922 treaty that established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Basic principles: A Union of Sovereign Soviet Republics is created, in which each republic "party to the treaty is a sovereign state." Each is "entitled to establish direct diplomatic, consular, trade, and other ties with foreign states," so long as such ties do not violate the country's international commitments.

Division of powers: Powers are divided between a union sphere of jurisdiction and a sphere of joint jurisdiction. The union deals with protection of the sovereignty and territory of the country, including organizing defense; carrying out unionwide foreign policy; coordination of foreign economic activity; approval and execution of a union budget; issuance of money; adoption of a constitution; preservation of gold, diamond, and currency stocks; coordination of law and order activities.

The republics and union jointly protect the constitution; define policy for security, foreign affairs, socioeconomic development; control the execution of the budget, monetary policy, energy policy, and fundamental scientific research; ensure observance of union laws, presidential decrees, and resolutions.

All powers not delegated to either sphere remain under the jurisdiction of the republics and are carried out by them independently or on the basis of bilateral or multilateral agreements.

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