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Views on the New Alliance

<i> Comments from Alma-Ata news conference at which 11 of 12 ex-Soviet republics proclaimed new alliance:</i>

On Borders

“According to the document we signed today, the territorial integrity and the borders between our states are unshakable. . . . What Gorbachev said is his personal business.”

--Russian Federation President Boris N. Yeltsin, on Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s warning of territorial disputes

On Gorbachev’s Future

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“We treat Mikhail Sergeyevich (Gorbachev) with respect and do not want to follow the tradition that has formed since 1917, according to which state leaders were buried and later reburied and considered criminals. We have settled the issue of his material well-being . . . and will provide for him after his resignation.”

--Yeltsin

On Citizenship

“Every state will decide the issue of citizenship according to its national legislation. Our legislation provides for a dual citizenship. That is, we can agree with Uzbekistan that our (citizens) living in Uzbekistan, or Uzbeks in Ukraine, may have dual citizenship. But there will be no citizenship of the commonwealth. It is not a state!”

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--Ukrainian President Leonid M. Kravchuk

On Naming the Commonwealth

“It was (in Minsk) that the commonwealth got its name. Three states--Belarus, Russia and Ukraine--have already ratified these documents. That is why to change the name now would be inexpedient both legally and politically.”

--Kravchuk

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On Embassies

“After the Minsk accord was signed, the embassies were seized by panic. They even started selling things. . . . Twenty embassies out of 133 are disbanded. That is why, by the Russian Federation presidential decree, all the property of embassies, consulates and trade missions abroad was declared Russian Federation property. . . .

“If some state concludes diplomatic relations with some country, it will get its share of the embassy’s property.”

--Yeltsin

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On Finances

“We won’t have a unified budget. I want to stress the point that there is no unified state. . . . There is the commonwealth of 11 independent states.”

--Yeltsin

On Ethnic Strife

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“What the center failed to do, we can do.

“In the framework of the commonwealth and guided by our goodwill, we can restore peace and calm in the (Nagorno-Karabakh) region and, what is very important, (build) the good-neighborly relations that always used to characterize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan.”

--Azerbaijani President Ayaz Mutalibov

“Violations of human rights . . . and, moreover, rights of ethnic minorities are not to be found in Armenia.”

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--Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan


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