The End of the Soviet Union
Text of Accords by Former Soviet Republics Setting Up a Commonwealth
The New York Times
December 23, 1991
Following are the texts of declarations signed Saturday in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, at the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as distributed in translation by the Tass press agency. The first five declarations were signed by all 11 leaders of the republics joining the commonwealth, and the sixth, on nuclear arms, was signed by the leaders of the four republics that have nuclear arms on their soil.
PROTOCOL TO COMMONWEALTH PACT
The Azerbaijani Republic, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Byelorussia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kirghizia, the Republic of Moldavia, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tadzhikistan, Turkmenia, the Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine, on an equal basis, and as high contracting parties, are forming a Commonwealth of Independent States.
The agreement on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States comes into force for each of the high contracting parties from the moment of its ratification. Documents regulating cooperation in the framework of the commonwealth will be worked out on the basis of the agreement on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, taking into consideration reservations made during its ratification.
This protocol is a constituent part of the agreement on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Done in Alma-Ata, on Dec. 21, 1991, in one copy in the Azerbaijani, Armenian, Byelorussian, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Moldavian, Russian, Tadzhik, Turkmen, Uzbek and Ukrainian languages. All texts are equally valid. The authentic copy is kept in the archive of the government of the republic of Byelorussia, which will send the certified copy of this protocol to the high contracting parties.
THE INDEPENDENT STATES -- the Azerbaijani Republic, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Byelorussia, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kirghizia, the Republic of Moldavia, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tadzhikistan, Turkmenia, the Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine,
SEEKING to build democratic law-governed states, the relations between which will develop on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for state sovereignty and sovereign equality, the inalienable right to self-determination, principles of equality and non-interference in internal affairs, the rejection of the use of force, the threat of force and economic and any other methods of pressure, a peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for human rights and freedoms, including the rights of national minorities, a conscientious fulfillment of commitments and other generally recognized principles and standards of international law;
RECOGNIZING AND RESPECTING each other's territorial integrity and the inviolability of the existing borders;
BELIEVING that the strengthening of the relations of friendship, good neighborliness and mutually advantageous cooperation, which has deep historic roots, meets the basic interests of nations and promotes the cause of peace and security;
BEING AWARE of their responsibility for the preservation of civil peace and inter-ethnic accord;
BEING LOYAL to the objectives and principles of the agreement on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States;
ARE MAKING the following statement:
Cooperation between members of the commonwealth will be carried out in accordance with the principle of equality through coordinating institutions formed on a parity basis and operating in the way established by the agreements between members of the commonwealth, which is neither a state nor a super-state structure.
In order to insure international strategic stability and security, allied command of the military-strategic forces and a single control over nuclear weapons will be preserved, the sides will respect each other's desire to attain the status of a non-nuclear or neutral state.
The Commonwealth of Independent States is open, with the agreement of all its participants, for other states to join -- members of the former Soviet Union as well as other states sharing the goals and principles of the commonwealth.
The allegiance to cooperation in the formation and development of the common economic space, and all-European and Eurasian markets is being confirmed.
With the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases to exist.
Member states of the commonwealth guarantee, in accordance with their constitutional procedures, the fulfillment of international obligations stemming from the treaties and agreements of the former U.S.S.R.
Member states of the commonwealth pledge to observe strictly the principles of this declaration.
ON THE MILITARY
Proceeding from the provision, sealed in the agreement on the establishment of a Commonwealth of Independent States and in the Alma-Ata declaration, for keeping the common military-strategic space under a joint command and for keeping a single control over nuclear weapons, the high contracting parties agreed on the following:
The command of the armed forces shall be entrusted to Marshal Yevgeny I. Shaposhnikov, pending a solution to the question of reforming the armed forces.
Proposals concerning this question shall be submitted by Dec. 30, 1991, for the consideration of the heads of state.
A supreme body of the commonwealth -- a "Council of the Heads of State" -- as well as a "Council of the Heads of Government" shall be set up with a view to tackling matters connected with coordinating the activities of the states of the new commonwealth in the sphere of common interests.
The plenipotentiary representatives of the states of the new commonwealth shall be instructed to submit proposals concerning the abolition of the structures of the former Soviet Union, as well as the coordinating institutions of the commonwealth for the consideration of the Council of the Heads of State.
ON U.N. MEMBERSHIP
Member states of the commonwealth, referring to Article 12 of the agreement on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States,
PROCEEDING from the intention of each of the states to fulfill its duties stipulated by the U.N. Charter and to take part in the work of that organization as equal members;
TAKING into account that previously the Republic of Byelorussia, the U.S.S.R. and Ukraine were members of the United Nations organization;
EXPRESSING satisfaction that the Republic of Byelorussia and Ukraine continue to be U.N. members as sovereign independent states;
BEING full of resolve to promote the consolidation of world peace and security on the basis of the U.N. Charter in the interests of their nations and the whole of the world community;
1. Member states of the commonwealth support Russia in taking over the U.S.S.R. membership in the U.N., including permanent membership in the Security Council and other international organizations.
2. The Republic of Byelorussia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine will help other member states of the commonwealth settle problems connected with their full membership in the U.N. and other international organizations.
Done in Alma-Ata on Dec. 21, 1991, in one copy in the Azerbaijani, Armenian, Byelorussian, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Moldavian, Russian, Tadzhik, Turkmen, Uzbek and Ukrainian languages. All texts have equal force. the original copy will be kept in the archive of the Government of the Republic of Byelorussia, which will send the high contracting parties a certified copy of this protocol.
For the Azerbaijani Republic
For the Republic of Byelorussia
For the Republic of Armenia
L. TER -PETROSYAN
For the Republic of Kazakhstan
For the Republic of Kirghizia
For the Republic of Moldavia
For the Russian Federation
For the Republic of Tadzhikistan
For the Republic of Uzbekistan
ON NUCLEAR ARMS
Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, called henceforth member states,
CONFIRMING their adherence to the non-proliferation of nuclear armaments;
STRIVING for the elimination of all nuclear armaments, and
WISHING to act to strengthen international stability, have agreed on the following:
The nuclear armaments that are part of the unified strategic armed forces insure the collective security of all members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The member states of this agreement confirm the obligation not to be the first to use nuclear weapons.
The member states of this agreement are jointly drawing up a policy on nuclear matters.
Until nuclear weapons have been completely eliminated on the territory of the Republic of ByeloRussia and Ukraine, decisions on the need to use them are taken, by agreement with the heads of the member states of the agreement, by the R.S.F.S.R. [Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic] President, on the basis of procedures drawn up jointly by the member states.
1. The republics of Byelorussia and Ukraine undertake to join the 1968 nuclear non-proliferation treaty as non-nuclear states and to conclude with the International Atomic Energy Agency the appropriate agreements-guarantees,
2. The member states of this agreement undertake not to transfer to anyone nuclear weapons or other triggering devices and technologies, or control over such nuclear triggering devices, either directly or indirectly, as well as not in any way to help, encourage and prompt any state not possessing nuclear weapons to produce nuclear weapons or other nuclear triggering devices, and also control over such weapons or triggering devices.
3. The provisions of paragraph 2 of this article do not stand in the way of transferring nuclear weapons from Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to R.S.F.S.R. territory with a view to destroying them.
The member states of this agreement, in accordance with the international treaty, will assist in the eliminating of nuclear weapons. By July 1, 1992 Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine will insure the withdrawal of tactical nuclear weapons to central factory premises for dismantling under joint supervision.
The Governments of Byelorussia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Ukraine undertake to submit a treaty on strategic offensive arms for ratification to the Supreme Soviets of their states.
This agreement requires ratification. It will come into force on the 30th day after the handing over of all ratification papers to the government of the R.S.F.S.R. for safekeeping.
Done in Alma-Ata in one certified copy in Byelorussian, Kazakh, Russian and
Ukrainian languages, all texts being equally authentic.
GRAPHIC: Photo: Boris N. Yeltsin, the President of the Russian republic, signing the agreement on Saturday that established the Commonwealth of Independent States, consisting of 11 former Soviet republics. (Agence France-Presse)
Copyright 1991 The New York Times Company