Delineation of Foreign Policy Powers Within the Framework of the Soviet Confederation (Based on Materials of Kazakhstan and Central Asian States)
Marat A. Sarsembayev
The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceased to exist after the putsch of August 19-21, 1991. Several republics ( Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and certain others) declared their independence, and the Congress of People's Deputies itself declared the disintegration of the old Union. However, the former republics were not opposed to the formation of a new Union.
In this connection, it makes sense to compare the text of the most recent variant of the Union Treaty, which was published on the eve of the putsch, with recent political realities. This comparison will also help to differentiate more clearly the foreign policy powers of the new Union and its members.
This Union Treaty was a compromise between republics and Moscow. It was for this reason that the draft Union Treaty transferred many functions to the competence of the Union and devoted much attention to the initial joint competence of the Union and republics.
The Union Treaty followed a confederation form rather than a federalist form. A federation is a union in which the state subjects of federation enjoy minimum internal and foreign policy powers. Under a confederation each constituent state is an autonomous, sovereign state, that creates several coordinating (not subordinating) central organs for the realization of common tasks.
I think that some examples of common tasks in the transitional period could include joint defense (the control over nuclear buttons would then remain in reliable hands), the protection of common borders, the resolution of customs problems, and the payment of common foreign debts (these have accumulated to no less than $75 billion).
In the incipient Soviet confederation, foreign policy powers must be delineated between the Union and its members in such a way that member-