Russia’s Duma debates today a draft resolution, submitted by the Communist, Agrarian, and People’s Power blocs, on reintegrating the peoples of the former Soviet Union and canceling the Russian Supreme Soviet’s December 12, 1991 decision which abrogated the 1922 treaty on the formation of the USSR. The document also calls on Russia’s president and government to deepen the former Soviet republics’ integration in the political, military, and other spheres. Timed to the anniversary of the 1991 referendum on preserving the USSR, the draft resolution envisages another referendum on peacefully reconstituting a union.
Appearing on television last night, President Boris Yeltsin disclaimed any responsibility for the USSR’s disintegration. Yeltsin pointed out that he had voted for the USSR in the 1991 referendum and that other republics scuttled the Union. Accusing the Communists of ignoring his latest successes in reintegrating ex-Soviet republics, Yeltsin cited draft documents due for signing shortly, envisaging a Russia-Belarus confederation which Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will also be invited to join. The governmental Russia is Our Home (ROH) and opposition Yabloko blocs intend to submit a rival resolution in the Duma stressing the gradual and voluntary aspects of reintegration–"and thank God if it eventually results in a territorial union," ROH’s leader Sergei Belyaev said. (1) In the runup to Russia’s presidential election, Yeltsin and his government appear prepared to compete with the Communists for recognition as a leading factor in reintegrating the ex-Soviet space.
THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION Yeltsin Assures Electorate He’s Fit Enough to Serve Again.