«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

The USSR and the CIS

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The USSR and the CIS
December 8, 1991 the famous Belavezha Accords were signed, which marked the beginning of the existence of the Commonwealth of Independent States

The creation of the CIS was preceded by a long history with coups and the latest attempts to preserve the USSR. It seems that at that moment no one believed that the great Soviet power would fall apart. The same was shown by the referendum as of March 17, 1991, at which 76.4% of respondents spoke for the preservation of the Union.

But in the country there was a crisis situation, which should somehow be resolved. By Novo-Ogaryovo process Gorbachev wanted to give autonomies the status of union republics with the help of the creation of a new Union of Sovereign States, which in the people was changed as Gorbachev's Salvation Alliance. This step was to cause approval and support from the leaders of the autonomous republics. Yeltsin was categorically against this decision - if they approve it, not only Tatarstan, Chechnya and others would come out of the RSFSR. Russia would have lost Yakutia, which has seductive stocks of diamonds, oil, gas and timber.

The August coup did not bring the results that the organizers expected - the preservation of the Union, the socialist system, but it worked in Yeltsin's favor. He did not share the tasks of the members of the State Committee on the state of emergency, since, most likely, he realized that socialism had already outlived itself, and the rest of the republics, following the Baltic, would demand independence for themselves.

December 1, 1991 in Ukraine, a referendum was held, as a result of which 90% of the population voted for the assertion of the independence of their country. A couple of days later, Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk announced the denunciation of the treaty as of 1922 on the creation of the USSR.

December 8, the famous Belavezha Accords were signed, which recorded two important historical events: on that day the Soviet Union ceased to exist and the Commonwealth of Independent States was established. The agreement was signed by the heads of three Slavic states: B. Yeltsin, S. Shushkevich and L. Kravchuk.

The document expressed the desire of the countries to act, taking into account various international treaties, adhering to the principles of the UN Charter. This agreement recognizes CIS members' immunity of the borders declared within the framework of the Commonwealth, guarantees their openness and freedom of movement of citizens.

This agreement actually built up the independence of countries as one of the main provisions of the Commonwealth. According to the document, the use of the norms of third states was prohibited on the territory of the CIS member states, and the allied authorities were liquidated.

The unifying factor is the development of mutually beneficial cooperation between the peoples and the state within the CIS with respect for the principles of equality and mutual respect. This should extend to political, economic, cultural interests, as well as to cover the spheres of education, health, nature protection, science, trade, humanitarian and other fields, and CIS members pledged to promote comprehensive information exchange among them.

In the document, a separate article is devoted to military construction and defense, representatives of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine in writing expressed their readiness to work on ensuring international peace and security, implementing effective measures to reduce armaments and military expenditures. They also agreed on the need to destroy all nuclear weapons.

The Commonwealth was declared open to the inclusion of post-Soviet countries, as well as other states, in the event of their support of the goals and objectives of the Belavezha Accord.

The founders of the CIS stressed that when establishing the organization they realized and took responsibility for the citizens of their country and the world as a whole and felt the urgent need for political and economic reforms.

Two days later the agreement was ratified by the Supreme Soviets of Ukraine and Belarus, on December 12 - by the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR. Some media representatives said that the signing of the Agreement by the heads of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus looks suspicious, as if these countries had the goal of creating a "Slavic Union" separate from the Turkic world, counteracting the Central Asian states. The Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR issued a refutation of these rumors.

There is a version that N. Nazarbayev was invited to the Belavezha Forest, but he refused or could not come. There is also an opinion that the words of Shushkevich that Nazarbayev was invited to Viskuli so that there were no different conjectures in connection with the signing of the Agreement by the heads of the Slavic countries were said only after the meeting was held and all decisions were made.

December 21, 1991 in Alma-Ata, all post-Soviet countries, except for the Baltic States and Georgia, signed a document approving the formation of the CIS as of December 8, according to which Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, joined the Commonwealth as its founders on an equal footing.

At the same time, the leaders of these countries signed the Alma-Ata Declaration, which once again confirmed the main tasks and principles of the organization.

December 3, 1993 Georgia became a member of the CIS, at the request of the leader of the country, Eduard Shevardnadze, dated October 8, 1993. In August 2008, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili announced that the country is withdrawing from the CIS.

January 22, 1993 in the capital of Belarus, the CIS Charter was approved. They lacked signatures of Ukraine and Turkmenistan - this meant that these countries are not members of the CIS, but they can be perceived as the states-founders and members of the Commonwealth. In the summer of 2005, at the CIS summit in Kazan, Turkmenistan decided to participate in the Commonwealth as an "associate member".

The attitude of Ukraine to the CIS has become uncertain after 2013-2014. Legally, it is part of the international organization, but in fact, very little participates in the activities of the CIS bodies.

Recently, the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion conducted a survey among Russians on the level of confidence in the CIS countries. The most successful and stable in these indicators was Belarus, gaining 60% of the vote and Kazakhstan - 41%. These results thus demonstrate not only the connection of the CIS countries through legal norms, laws and projects, but also the cohesion of the population of the former USSR and its generation at the spiritual level.

The CIS regularly approves thematic years devoted to important events or spheres of life. In this regard, the CIS countries are carrying out activities on selected topics. For example, the year 2017 is the Year of the Family. The organizers of the events planned not only to cultivate moral values ​​in the family, love, respect and mutual understanding. The right settings should be given to the population even earlier, so much attention is paid to youth, various contests, lectures, festivals were held for them. 2018 is called the Year of Culture.

Translated by Raushan MAKHMETZHANOVA

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