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Unofficial translation by John Fowler.
Source text in Russian:
http://www.cis.minsk.by/russian/cis_doc4.htm
 

AGREEMENT
on the Establishment of the
Commonwealth of Independent States

 
We, the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation (RSFSR), and Ukraine, as founding states of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, having signed the Union Agreement of 1922, hereinafter referred to as the High Contracting Parties, do state that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality, hereby terminates its existence.
Based on the historical community of our peoples and the relations that have formed between them, taking into account the bilateral agreements concluded between the High Contracting Parties,
striving to build democratic law-based states,
intending to develop our relations on the basis of mutual recognition and respect of state sovereignty, the inherent right to self-determination, the principles of equality and non-interference in internal affairs, a rejection of the use of force, economic or other methods of pressure, regulation of disputed issues though negotiations, and other generally recognized principles and norms of international law,
believing that further development and strengthening of relations of friendship, good neighborhood and mutually beneficial cooperation between our states corresponds to the fundamental national interests of their peoples and serves peace and security,
confirming our adherence to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act and other documents of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe,
undertaking to observe generally recognized international norms on human and peoples' rights,
have agreed upon the following:
Article 1
The High Contracting Parties hereby establish the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Article 2
The High Contracting Parties hereby guarantee their citizens, irrespective of their nationality or other differences, equal rights and liberties.  Each of the High Contracting Parties guarantees the citizen of the other Parties, as well as stateless person residing in its territory, irrespective of their nationality or other differences, civil, political, economic and cultural rights and liberties in accordance with generally recognized international norms on human rights.
Article 3
The High Contracting States, desiring to facilitate the expression, preservation and development of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious originality of national minorities settling their territories and established unique ethno-cultural regions, take them under the protection.
Article 4
The High Contracting Parties will develop equal and mutually beneficial cooperation of its peoples and states in the sphere of politics, economics, culture, education, healthcare, protection of the environment, science, trade, in humanities and other fields, facilitate broad informational exchange, conscientiously and rigorously observe mutual obligations.
The parties believe it necessary conclude agreements on cooperation in the aforementioned fields.
Article 5
The High Contracting Parties shall recognize and respect the territorial integrity of one another and the inviolability of existing borders under the framework of the Commonwealth.
They shall guarantee the openness of borders, freedom of movement for citizens and for the transfer of information.
Article 6
Member States of the Commonwealth will cooperate in ensuring international peace and security, implementing effective measures to reduce arms and military expenditures.  They will strive to eliminate all nuclear weapons, general and full disarmament under strict international control.
The Parties will respect one another's aspiration to achieve the status of a non-nuclear zone and neutral state.
Member States of the Commonwealth will preserve and support under a united command the common military and strategic space, including unified control over nuclear weapons, the procedure for the implementation of which shall be regulated by a special agreement.
They shall also guarantee necessary conditions for the placement, functioning, material and social support for strategic military forces.  The Parties shall undertake to conduct a coordinated policy for issues concerning social defense and pension support for military personnel and their families.
Article 7
The High Contracting States hereby recognize that the sphere of their joint activity realized on an equal basis through common coordinating institutions of the Commonwealth include:
- coordination of foreign policy activity;
- cooperation in the formation and development of a common economic space, common European and Eurasian markets, and in the sphere of customs policy;
- cooperation in developing communications and transport systems;
- cooperation in the sphere of protecting the environment, participation in creating an all-encompassing international system for environmental protection;
- questions concerning migration policy;
- combating organized crime.
Article 8
The Parties recognize the planetary nature of the Chernobyl catastrophe and shall undertake to unite and coordinate their efforts to minimize and overcome the consequences thereof.
For these purposes they have agreed to conclude a special agreement, taking into account the gravity of that catastrophe's consequences.
Article 9
Disputes concerning the interpretation and application of the norms of this Agreement shall be subject to resolution by way of negotiations between relevant bodies, and, where necessary, at the level of heads of Governments and the States.
Article 10
Each of the High Contracting States shall retain the right to suspend the effect of this Agreement or certain of its Articles, having given the parties to this Agreement one year's notice of this.
The provisions of this Agreement may be appended or amended with the mutual agreement of the High Contracting Parties.
Article 11
From the time of the signature of this Agreement, the application in the territories of the signatories thereof of the norms of third states, including the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, shall not be permitted.
Article 12
The High Contracting Parties shall guarantee the performance of international obligations arising for them from the treaties and agreements of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Article 13
This Agreement shall not affect the obligations of the High Contracting States in respect of third states.
This Agreement is open for the accession of other member states of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as well as for other states sharing the objectives and principles of this Agreement.
Article 14
The official location of the coordinating bodies of the Commonwealth shall be the city of Moscow.
The activity of the bodies of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the territories of the member states of the Commonwealth shall be terminated.

Done at Minsk on December 8, 1991 in triplicate, with each copy in the Belorussian, Russian and Ukrainian languages, and in this respect the three texts shall have identical force.

For the Republic of Belarus
S. Shushkevich

For the RSFSR
G. Burbulis

For Ukraine
V. Fokin



The Agreement has entered into force for the following States:
Republic of Belarus December 10, 1991;
Ukraine December 10, 1999;
Russian Federation December 12, 1991;
Republic of Kazakhstan December 23, 1991;
Turkmenistan December 26, 1991;
Republic of Uzbekistan January 4, 1992;
Republic of Armenia February 18, 1992;
Republic of Kyrgyzia March 6, 1992;
Republic of Tadjikistan June 26, 1993;
Republic of Azerbaijan September 24, 1993;
Georgia December 3, 1993;
Republic of Moldova April 8, 1994



PROTOCOL
to the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States,
signed on December 8, 1991 at the city of Minsk,
by the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation (RSFSR) and Ukraine



Ratified by:

Republic of Kazakhstan December 23, 1991;
Turkmenistan December 26, 1991;
Republic of Uzbekistan January 4, 1992;
Republic of Kyrgyzia March 6, 1992;
Republic of Tadjikistan June 26, 1993
Republic of Moldova April 8, 1994.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation (RSFSR), Republic of Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Republic of Uzbekistan and Ukraine on equal grounds and as High Contracting Parties hereby form the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States shall enter into force for each of the High Contracting Parties from the time of its ratification.

On the basis of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States and with account taken of reservations made upon its ratification, documents will be drafted which will regulate collaboration under the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

This Protocol shall be an integral part of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Done at the city of Alma-Ata on December 21, 1991 in one original in the Azerbaijani, Belorussian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Moldavian, Russian, Tadjik, Turkmen, Uzbek and Ukrainian languages.  All the texts have equal force.  The original copy is stored in the archive of the Government of the Republic of Belarus, which will send the High Contracting Parties a certified copy of this Protocol.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan
A. Mutalibov

President of the Republic of Armenia
L. Ter-Petrosyan

Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Republic of Belarus
S. Shushkevich

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
N. Nazarbayev

President of the Republic of Kyrgystan
A. Akayev

President of the Republic of Moldova
M. Snegur

President of the Russian Federation
B. Yeltsin

President of the Republic of Tadjikistan
R. Nabiev

President of Turkmenistan
S. Niyazov

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
I. Karimov

President of Ukraine
L. Kravchuk

Acceded:
Republic of Azerbaijan on September 24, 1993;
Georgia on December 3, 1993.


 

Unofficial translation by John Fowler.

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