The Soviet System: From Crisis to Collapse

By Alexander Dallin; Gail W. Lapidus | Go to book overview

54 Agreement on the Creation of
a Commonwealth of
Independent States
STANISLAU SHUSHKEVICH BORIS YELTSIN LEONID KRAVCHUK
STATEMENT BY THE HEADS OF STATE OF THE
REPUBLIC OF BELARUS, THE RUSSIAN SFSR AND UKRAINE
We, the leaders of the Republic of Belarus, the RSFSR and Ukraine,
noting that the talks on the drafting of a new Union Treaty have reached an impasse and that the objective process of the secession of republics from the USSR and the formation of independent states has become a real fact;
stating that the shortsighted policy of the center has led to a profound economic and political crisis, the collapse of production and a catastrophic decline in the living standard for virtually all strata of society;
taking into consideration the increase in social tension in many regions of the former USSR, which has led to conflicts between nationalities with numerous human casualties;
aware of our responsibility to our peoples and the world community and of the urgent need for the practical implementation of political and economic reforms, hereby declare the formation of a Commonwealth of Independent States, on which the parties signed an Agreement on Dec. 8, 1991.

The Commonwealth of Independent States, consisting of the Republic of Belarus, the RSFSR and Ukraine, is open for accession by all member-states of the former USSR, as well as for other states that share the goals and principles of this Agreement.

The member-states of the Commonwealth intend to pursue a course aimed at strengthening international peace and security. They guarantee the fulfillment of international obligations stemming from the treaties and agreements of the former USSR and ensure unified control over nuclear weapons and their nonproliferation.

S. Shushkevich, Chairman of the Supreme Soviet
of the Republic of Belarus.
B. Yeltsin, President of the RSFSR.
L. Kravchuk, President of Ukraine.

Minsk, Dec. 8, 1991.

...

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