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Agreement establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States

The signing ceremony at Viskuly Government House in the Belarusian Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Belovezhskaya Pushcha
National Park, 8 December 1991

Type Treaty establishing a loose regional organisation

Signed 8 December 1991

Location De facto: Białowieża Forest De jure: Minsk, Belarus

Effective 12 December 1991

Signatories Boris Yeltsin Leonid Kravchuk Stanislav Shushkevich

Parties Russia Ukraine Belarus

Depositary Minsk, Belarus

The Belavezha Accords
Belavezha Accords
(Russian: Беловежские соглашения, Belarusian: Белавежскае пагадненне, Ukrainian: Біловезькі угоди) is the agreement that declared the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
effectively dissolved and established the Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS) in its place. It was signed at the state dacha near Viskuli
Viskuli
in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on December 8, 1991, by the leaders of three of the four republics-signatories of the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR
Treaty on the Creation of the USSR
— Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Ukrainian president Leonid Kravchuk and Belarusian parliament chairman Stanislav Shushkevich. The original accord could not be found as of 2013 (see below).

Contents

1 Transliteration 2 Legal basis and ratification 3 Current location 4 Signators 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Transliteration[edit] The name is variously transliterated as Belavezh Accords, Belovezh Accords, Belovezha Accords, Belavezha Agreement, Belovezhskaya Accord, Belaya Vezha Accord, etc. Legal basis and ratification[edit] While doubts remained over the authority of the leaders of three of the 12 remaining republics (the three Baltic republics had seceded in August) to dissolve the Union, according to Article 72 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution, Soviet republics had the right to secede freely from the Union. On December 12, 1991 the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR ratified the accords on behalf of Russia
Russia
and at the same time denounced the 1922 Treaty on the Creation of the Soviet Union. While this is sometimes noted as the moment that the largest republic in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
effectively seceded, this is not the case. Rather, the RSFSR appeared to take the line that it was not possible to secede from an entity that no longer existed. However, in the aftermath of the failed coup in August 1991, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had been effectively dissolved and the republics were scrambling to pull free of Moscow. By the end of the summer of 1991, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
Mikhail Gorbachev
could no longer influence events outside of the Kremlin. He was being challenged even there by Yeltsin, who by the end of the fall had taken over most of the Soviet government.

Xerography of Accords

The preamble of the document stated that "the USSR, as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality, is ceasing its existence." It also invited other republics to join the three founding members. These attempts to dissolve the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
were seen as illegal by what remained of the Soviet federal government. Gorbachev himself described the moves thus:

...The fate of the multinational state cannot be determined by the will of the leaders of three republics. The question should be decided only by constitutional means with the participation of all sovereign states and taking into account the will of all their citizens. The statement that Unionwide legal norms would cease to be in effect is also illegal and dangerous; it can only worsen the chaos and anarchy in society. The hastiness with which the document appeared is also of serious concern. It was not discussed by the populations nor by the Supreme Soviets of the republics in whose name it was signed. Even worse, it appeared at the moment when the draft treaty for a Union of Sovereign States, drafted by the USSR State Council, was being discussed by the parliaments of the republics.[1]

All doubts about whether the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
still existed were removed on December 21, 1991, when the representatives of 11 of the 12 remaining Soviet republics—all except Georgia—signed the Alma-Ata Protocol, which confirmed the extinction of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and restated the establishment of the CIS. Given that 11 of the republics now agreed that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
no longer existed, the plurality of member-republics required for its continuance as a federal State was no longer in place. The summit of Alma-Ata also provisionally accepted Gorbachev's resignation as president of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and agreed on several other practical measures consequential to the extinction of the Union. Gorbachev stated that he would resign as soon as he knew the CIS was a reality. Three days later, in a secret meeting with Yeltsin, he accepted the fait accompli of the Soviet Union's dissolution. However, for four more days a rump Soviet federal government continued to exist, and Gorbachev continued to hold control over the Kremlin. This ended in the early hours of December 25, 1991, when Gorbachev resigned and turned control of the Kremlin and the remaining powers of his office over to the office of the president of Russia, Yeltsin. Gorbachev's televised resignation speech and the subsequent lowering of the flag of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and hoisting of the flag of Russia
Russia
on the flagpole in front of the Kremlin was broadcast around the world. On this day, President of the United States
President of the United States
George H. W. Bush, a former head of the CIA, gave a short speech on national TV in the United States
United States
to commemorate the ending of the Cold War
Cold War
and to recognize the independence of the former states of the Soviet Union.[2] Also on December 25, 1991, the Russian SFSR, now no longer a sub-national entity of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
but a sovereign nation in its own right, adopted a law renaming itself the "Russian Federation" or "Russia" (both being equally official). Gorbachev's speech and the lowering of the Soviet flag marked the end of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in the eyes of the world. However, the final legal step in the dissolution came a day later, when the Soviet of the Republics, the upper house of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, recognized the collapse of the Union and voted both itself and the Union out of existence. The lower house, the Soviet of the Union, had not met since 12 December when Russia
Russia
recalled its deputies from both chambers, leaving it without a quorum. The Summit of Alma-Ata also issued a statement on December 21, 1991 supporting Russia's claim to be recognized as the successor state of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
for the purposes of membership of the United Nations. On December 25, 1991, Russian President Yeltsin
Yeltsin
informed UN Secretary-General Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
that the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
had been dissolved and that Russia
Russia
would, as its successor state, continue the Soviet Union's membership in the United Nations. The document confirmed the credentials of the representatives of the Soviet Union as representatives of Russia, and requested that the name "Soviet Union" be changed to "Russian Federation" in all records and entries. This was a move designed to allow Russia
Russia
to retain the Soviet Union's permanent Security Council seat, which wouldn't have been possible if the former republics were all reckoned as equal successors of the Soviet Union, or if the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
was regarded as having no successor state for the purpose of continuing the same UN membership. (see Russia
Russia
and the United Nations). The Secretary General circulated the request, and there being no objection from any Member State, the Russian Federation took the Soviet Union's UN seat. On January 31, 1992, Russian Federation President Yeltsin
Yeltsin
personally took part in a Security Council meeting as representative of Russia, the first Security Council meeting in which Russia
Russia
occupied the permanent Security Council seat originally granted to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
by the UN Charter. Current location[edit] Stanislav Shushkevich, the former leader of Belarus
Belarus
was told by the country's foreign ministry that the original accords have gone missing as of February 7, 2013. He tried to obtain the original copy to assist in writing his memoirs.[3] Signators[edit]

Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
(1931–2007) — President of Russia
Russia
(1991–1999) Gennady Burbulis
Gennady Burbulis
(born 1945) — State Secretary of Russia (1991–1992) Leonid Kravchuk
Leonid Kravchuk
(born 1934) — President of Ukraine
Ukraine
(1991–1994) Vitold Fokin (born 1932) — Prime Minister of Ukraine
Ukraine
(1991–1992) Stanislav Shushkevich
Stanislav Shushkevich
(born 1934) — Chairman of Supreme Soviet of Belarus
Belarus
(1991–1994) Vyacheslav Kebich (born 1936) — Prime Minister of Belarus (1991–1994)

See also[edit]

Dissolution of the Soviet Union Union Treaty of 1922, which was denounced by the Belavezha Accords.

References[edit]

^ Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev (2000). On my country and the world. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-11514-8.  ^ "Bush on the Commonwealth of Independent States". Archived from the original on 2009-10-31.  ^ "Document proclaiming death of Soviet Union
Soviet Union
missing". The Daily Telegraph. London. February 7, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Belavezha Accords.

Soviet Leaders Recall ‘Inevitable’ Breakup Of Soviet Union, Radio Free Europe, 8 December 2006 14 Years of Belavezha Accords’ Signing map location

v t e

Commonwealth of Independent States
Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS)

Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia Eurasian Economic Union Union State

Membership

Members

Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Moldova Russia Tajikistan Uzbekistan

Associate members

Turkmenistan Ukraine

Former members

Georgia (1993–2009)

History

Russian Empire Soviet Union Dissolution of the Soviet Union Union of Sovereign States Belavezha Accords
Belavezha Accords
(Near abroad) Alma-Ata Protocol

Sports

Unified Team at the Olympics Unified Team at the Paralympics CIS national bandy team CIS national football team CIS national ice hockey team CIS national rugby team CIS Cup (football)

Military

Collective Security Treaty Organization Collective Rapid Reaction Force Joint CIS Air Defense System

Economics

Economic Court CISFTA Eurasian Economic Community Eurasian Patent Convention Eurasian Patent Organization EU Technical Aid

Organization

Interstate Aviation Committee Council of Ministers of Defense of the CIS

Category

v t e

Cold War

USA USSR ANZUS NATO Non-Aligned Movement SEATO Warsaw Pact Cold War
Cold War
II

1940s

Morgenthau Plan Hukbalahap Rebellion Dekemvriana Percentages Agreement Yalta Conference Guerrilla war in the Baltic states

Forest Brothers Operation Priboi Operation Jungle Occupation of the Baltic states

Cursed soldiers Operation Unthinkable Operation Downfall Potsdam Conference Gouzenko Affair Division of Korea Operation Masterdom Operation Beleaguer Operation Blacklist Forty Iran crisis of 1946 Greek Civil War Baruch Plan Corfu Channel incident Turkish Straits crisis Restatement of Policy on Germany First Indochina War Truman Doctrine Asian Relations Conference May 1947 Crises Marshall Plan Comecon 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état Tito–Stalin Split Berlin Blockade Western betrayal Iron Curtain Eastern Bloc Western Bloc Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
(Second round) Malayan Emergency Albanian Subversion

1950s

Papua conflict Bamboo Curtain Korean War McCarthyism Egyptian Revolution of 1952 1953 Iranian coup d'état Uprising of 1953 in East Germany Dirty War
Dirty War
(Mexico) Bricker Amendment 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état Partition of Vietnam Vietnam War First Taiwan Strait Crisis Geneva Summit (1955) Bandung Conference Poznań 1956 protests Hungarian Revolution of 1956 Suez Crisis "We will bury you" Operation Gladio Arab Cold War

Syrian Crisis of 1957 1958 Lebanon crisis Iraqi 14 July Revolution

Sputnik crisis Second Taiwan Strait Crisis 1959 Tibetan uprising Cuban Revolution Kitchen Debate Sino-Soviet split

1960s

Congo Crisis 1960 U-2 incident Bay of Pigs Invasion 1960 Turkish coup d'état Soviet–Albanian split Berlin Crisis of 1961 Berlin Wall Portuguese Colonial War

Angolan War of Independence Guinea-Bissau War of Independence Mozambican War of Independence

Cuban Missile Crisis Sino-Indian War Communist insurgency in Sarawak Iraqi Ramadan Revolution Eritrean War of Independence Sand War North Yemen Civil War Aden Emergency 1963 Syrian coup d'état Vietnam War Shifta War Guatemalan Civil War Colombian conflict Nicaraguan Revolution 1964 Brazilian coup d'état Dominican Civil War South African Border War Transition to the New Order Domino theory ASEAN Declaration Laotian Civil War 1966 Syrian coup d'état Argentine Revolution Korean DMZ conflict Greek military junta of 1967–74 Years of Lead (Italy) USS Pueblo incident Six-Day War War of Attrition Dhofar Rebellion Al-Wadiah War Protests of 1968 French May Tlatelolco massacre Cultural Revolution Prague Spring 1968 Polish political crisis Communist insurgency in Malaysia Invasion of Czechoslovakia Iraqi Ba'athist Revolution Goulash Communism Sino-Soviet border conflict CPP–NPA–NDF rebellion Corrective Move

1970s

Détente Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Black September
Black September
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Dirty War
(Argentina) 1976 Argentine coup d'état Korean Air Lines Flight 902 Yemenite War of 1979 Grand Mosque seizure Iranian Revolution Saur Revolution New Jewel Movement 1979 Herat uprising Seven Days to the River Rhine Struggle against political abuse of psychiatry in the Soviet Union

1980s

Soviet–Afghan War 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics boycotts 1980 Turkish coup d'état Peruvian conflict Casamance conflict Ugandan Bush War Lord's Resistance Army insurgency Eritrean Civil Wars 1982 Ethiopian–Somali Border War Ndogboyosoi War United States
United States
invasion of Grenada Able Archer 83 Star Wars Iran–Iraq War Somali Rebellion 1986 Black Sea incident 1988 Black Sea bumping incident South Yemen Civil War Bougainville Civil War 8888 Uprising Solidarity

Soviet reaction

Contras Central American crisis RYAN Korean Air Lines Flight 007 People Power Revolution Glasnost Perestroika Nagorno-Karabakh War Afghan Civil War United States
United States
invasion of Panama 1988 Polish strikes Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 Revolutions of 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall Velvet Revolution Romanian Revolution Peaceful Revolution Die Wende

1990s

Mongolian Revolution of 1990 German reunification Yemeni unification Fall of communism in Albania Breakup of Yugoslavia Dissolution of the Soviet Union Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

Frozen conflicts

Abkhazia China-Taiwan Korea Nagorno-Karabakh South Ossetia Transnistria Sino-Indian border dispute North Borneo dispute

Foreign policy

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Ideologies

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Communism

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Other

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Organizations

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Propaganda

Active measures Crusade for Freedom Izvestia Pravda Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Red Scare TASS Voice of America Voice of Russia

Races

Arms race Nuclear arms race Space Race

See also

Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War Soviet espionage in the United States Soviet Union– United States
United States
relations USSR–USA summits Russian espionage in the United States American espionage in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and Russian Federation Russia– NATO
NATO
relations Brinkmanship CIA
CIA
and the Cultural Cold War Cold War
Cold War
II

Category Commons Portal Timeline List of conflicts

v t e

Revolutions of 1989

Internal background

Era of Stagnation Communism Anti-communism Criticism of communist party rule Eastern Bloc Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
economies Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
politics Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
media and propaganda Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
emigration and defection KGB Nomenklatura Shortage economy Totalitarianism Eastern European anti-Communist insurgencies

International background

Active measures Cold War List of socialist states People Power Revolution Predictions of the dissolution of the Soviet Union Reagan Doctrine Soviet Empire Terrorism and the Soviet Union Vatican Opposition Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
invasion of Czechoslovakia

Reforms

Uskoreniye Perestroika

Democratization in the Soviet Union Khozraschyot 500 Days Sinatra Doctrine

Glasnost Socialism with Chinese characteristics Đổi mới

Government leaders

Ramiz Alia Nicolae Ceaușescu Mikhail Gorbachev Károly Grósz Erich Honecker János Kádár Miloš Jakeš Egon Krenz Wojciech Jaruzelski Slobodan Milošević Mathieu Kérékou Mengistu Haile Mariam Ne Win Denis Sassou Nguesso Heng Samrin Deng Xiaoping Todor Zhivkov Siad Barre

Opposition methods

Civil resistance Demonstrations Human chains Magnitizdat Polish underground press Protests Samizdat Strike action

Opposition leaders

Lech Wałęsa Václav Havel Alexander Dubček Ion Iliescu Liu Gang Wu'erkaixi Chai Ling Wang Dan Feng Congde Tank Man Joachim Gauck Sali Berisha Sanjaasürengiin Zorig Vladimir Bukovsky Boris Yeltsin Viacheslav Chornovil Vytautas Landsbergis Zianon Pazniak Zhelyu Zhelev Aung San Suu Kyi Meles Zenawi Isaias Afwerki Ronald Reagan George H. W. Bush Pope John Paul II

Opposition movements

Beijing Students' Autonomous Federation Charter 77 New Forum Civic Forum Democratic Party of Albania Democratic Russia Initiative for Peace and Human Rights Sąjūdis Peaceful Revolution People's Movement of Ukraine Solidarity Popular Front of Latvia Popular Front of Estonia Public Against Violence Belarusian Popular Front National League for Democracy National Salvation Front Unification Church political activities Union of Democratic Forces

Events by location

Central and Eastern Europe

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Soviet Union

Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Chechnya Estonia Georgia Latvia Lithuania Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Moldova Russia Tajikstan Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan

Elsewhere

Afghanistan Angola Benin Burma Cambodia China Congo-Brazzaville Ethiopia Mongolia Mozambique Somalia South Yemen

Individual events

1988 Polish strikes April 9 tragedy Black January Baltic Way 1987–89 Tibetan unrest Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 Removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria Polish Round Table Agreement Hungarian Round Table Talks Pan-European Picnic Monday Demonstrations Alexanderplatz demonstration Malta Summit German reunification January Events in Lithuania January Events in Latvia 1991 protests in Belgrade August Coup Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Later events

Colour revolution Decommunization Lustration Democratization Economic liberalization Post-Soviet conflicts Neo-Sovietism Neo-Stalinism Post-communism Yugoslav Wars

v t e

Eastern Bloc

Soviet Union Communism

Formation

Secret Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact protocol Soviet invasion of Poland Soviet occupations

Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina Baltic states Hungary Romania

Yalta Conference

Annexed as, or into, SSRs

Eastern Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Memel East Prussia West Belarus Western Ukraine Moldavia

Satellite states

Hungarian People's Republic Polish People's Republic Czechoslovak Socialist Republic Socialist Republic of Romania German Democratic Republic People's Republic of Albania (to 1961) People's Republic of Bulgaria Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (to 1948)

Annexing SSRs

Russian SFSR Ukrainian SSR Byelorussian SSR

Organizations

Cominform COMECON Warsaw Pact World Federation of Trade Unions
World Federation of Trade Unions
(WFTU) World Federation of Democratic Youth
World Federation of Democratic Youth
(WFDY)

Revolts and opposition

Welles Declaration Goryani
Goryani
Movement Forest Brothers Ukrainian Insurgent Army Operation Jungle Baltic state continuity Baltic Legations (1940–1991) Cursed soldiers Rebellion of Cazin 1950 1953 uprising in Plzeň 1953 East German uprising 1956 Georgian demonstrations 1956 Poznań protests 1956 Hungarian Revolution Novocherkassk massacre 1965 Yerevan demonstrations Prague Spring
Prague Spring
/ Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
invasion of Czechoslovakia Brezhnev Doctrine 1968 Red Square demonstration 1968 student demonstrations in Belgrade 1968 protests in Kosovo 1970 Polish protests Croatian Spring 1972 unrest in Lithuania
1972 unrest in Lithuania
SSR June 1976 protests Solidarity / Soviet reaction / Martial law 1981 protests in Kosovo Reagan Doctrine Jeltoqsan Karabakh movement April 9 tragedy Romanian Revolution Black January

Cold War
Cold War
events

Marshall Plan Berlin Blockade Tito–Stalin split 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état 1961 Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
crisis

Conditions

Emigration and defection (list of defectors) Sovietization of the Baltic states Information dissemination Politics Economies Telephone tapping

Decline

Revolutions of 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall Romanian Revolution Fall of communism in Albania Singing Revolution Collapse of the Soviet Union Dissolution of Czechoslovakia January 1991 events in Lithuania January 1991 events in Latvia

Post- Cold War
Cold War
topics

Baltic Assembly Collective Security Treaty Organization Commonwealth of Independent States Craiova Group European Union European migrant crisis Eurasian Economic Union NATO Post-Soviet states Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Visegrad Group

v t e

Boris Yeltsin

1 February 1931 – 23 April 2007 1st President of Russia
Russia
(1991–1999)

Life and politics

Birthplace Sverdlovsk Regional Committee of the CPSU Moscow City Committee of the CPSU Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR 28th Congress of the CPSU Death and state funeral

Presidency

First inauguration Second inauguration Cabinet of Yeltsin–Gaidar State Committee on the State of Emergency 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt Dissolution of the Soviet Union Belavezha Accords 1993 Russian constitutional crisis Constitutional referendum Shannon diplomatic incident Privatization First Chechen War Monetary reform (1993) Monetary reform (1998) 1998 financial crisis List of trips

Elections

Electoral history

1991 presidential election 1996 presidential election

Semibankirschina

Commemoration

Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Presidential Center Presidential Center legacy of Boris Yeltsin Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Presidential Library Ural Federal University
Ural Federal University
named after the first President of Russia Boris Yeltsin Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University named after Boris Yeltsin Tennis Academy, named after the first President of Russia
Russia
Boris Yeltsin Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Peak Street of Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
(Yekaterinburg) Monument (Yekaterinburg) Monument (Cholpon-Ata) Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Volleyball Cup

Books

Confession on a Given Theme Notes of President Presidential Marathon Boris Yeltsin: From Dawn to Dusk

Films

Yeltsin: Three Days in August Three August's Days Tsar Boris President of All Russia B.N. Boris Yeltsin. Farewell to the Era Boris Yeltsin. Life and Fate Boris Yeltsin. First Boris Yeltsin. Retreat is Impossible

Family

Nikolay Yeltsin
Yeltsin
(father) Claudia Yeltsina (mother) Naina Yeltsina
Naina Yeltsina
(wife) Tatyana Yumasheva
Tatyana Yumasheva
(daughter) Elena Okulova (daughter)

Category:Boris Yeltsin Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin

Coordinates: 52°37′23″N 23°57′19″E / 52.6231°N 23.9554°E

.