On 12 October, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that the SFF treaty be multilateral and said that Russia would find it difficult to stay in the treaty that does not regulate missile development in other countries. On 8 December, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus met clandestinely in Belavezhskaya Pushcha, western Belarus, and signed the Belavezha Agreements, which announced that the Soviet Union no longer existed, and announced the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a looser union to take its place. They also invited other republics to join the CIS. Gorbachev spoke of an unconstitutional coup. But at that time, there was no longer any reasonable doubt that, as the preamble to the agreements says, “the USSR, the subject of international law and geopolitical reality, is ending its existence.” Faced with the rise of separatism, Gorbachev tried to restructure the Soviet Union into a less centralized state. On 20 August 1991, the Russian SFSR was to sign a treaty on the New Union that would have transformed the Soviet Union into a federation of independent republics with a president, a foreign policy and a common military. It was strongly supported by the Central Asian republics, which needed the economic benefits of a common market to prosper. But that would have meant a degree of Communist Party control over economic and social life. The treaty allows contracting parties to carry out on-site inspections, both on the territory of the other party and on the territory of the reference countries; each party has committed to conclude specific agreements with the core countries to allow inspections on their territory. The parties were authorized to inspect missile bases, missile support devices, missile production facilities and extermination facilities (Article XI).
The inspection protocol defined how to prepare and carry out on-site controls and their rules. Amid rapid and dramatic changes in the Soviet Union landscape, Bush administration officials prioritized nuclear disaster prevention, containment of ethnic violence and a stable transition to new political orders. On 4 September 1991, Secretary of State James Baker formulated five fundamental principles that would guide American policy towards emerging republics: self-determination in accordance with democratic principles, recognition of existing borders, support for democracy and the rule of law, respect for human rights and the rights of national minorities, and respect for international law and international obligations. The fundamental message was clear: if the new republics could follow these principles, they could expect cooperation and support from the United States. Baker met with Gorbachev and Yeltsin to support the economic situation and develop a formula for economic cooperation between the republics and Russia and to find ways to carry out political reforms in a regulated and peaceful manner. In early December, Yeltsin and the Ukrainian and Belarusian leaders met in Brest to create the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which is the de facto reason for the fall of the Soviet Union. On August 19, 1989, the Russian Orthodox parish of St. Peter and Paul announced that it was joining the Self-cephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. On 2 September 1989, tens of thousands of people across Ukraine protested against an electoral bill, which reserved special seats for the Communist Party and other official organizations: 50,000 in Lvov, 40,000 in Kiev, 10,000 in Zhytomyr, 5,000 in Dniprodzerzhynsk and Chervonouad and 2,000 in Charkiw. From 8 to 10 September 1989, the writer Ivan Drach was elected leader of the Ukrainian people`s movement Rukh at its founding congress in Kiev.
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