Appendix B -- Belarus and Moldova
THE MINSK AGREEMENT
Signed by the heads of state of Belarus, the Russian
Federation, and Ukraine on December 8, 1991.
We, the Republic of Belarus, the Russian Federation and the
Republic of Ukraine, as founder states of the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics (USSR), which signed the 1922 Union Treaty,
further described as the high contracting parties, conclude that
the USSR has ceased to exist as a subject of international law and
a geopolitical reality.
Taking as our basis the historic community of our peoples and
the ties which have been established between them, taking into
account the bilateral treaties concluded between the high
striving to build democratic law-governed states; intending to
develop our relations on the basis of mutual recognition and
respect for state sovereignty, the inalienable right to self-
determination, the principles of equality and non-interference in
internal affairs, repudiation of the use of force and of economic
or any other methods of coercion, settlement of contentious
problems by means of mediation and other generally recognized
principles and norms of international law;
considering that further development and strengthening of
relations of friendship, good-neighborliness and mutually
beneficial co-operation between our states correspond to the vital
national interests of their peoples and serve the cause of peace
confirming our adherence to the goals and principles of the
United Nations Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and other documents
of the Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe;
and committing ourselves to observe the generally recognized
internal norms on human rights and the rights of peoples, we have
agreed the following:
The high contracting parties form the Commonwealth of
The high contracting parties guarantee their citizens equal
rights and freedoms regardless of nationality or other
distinctions. Each of the high contracting parties guarantees the
citizens of the other parties, and also persons without citizenship
that live on its territory, civil, political, social, economic and
cultural rights and freedoms in accordance with generally
recognized international norms of human rights, regardless of
national allegiance or other distinctions.
The high contracting parties, desiring to promote the
expression, preservation and development of the ethnic, cultural,
linguistic and religious individuality of the national minorities
resident on their territories, and that of the unique ethno-
cultural regions that have come into being, take them under their
The high contracting parties will develop the equal and mutually
beneficial co-operation of their peoples and states in the spheres
of politics, the economy, culture, education, public health,
protection of the environment, science and trade and in the
humanitarian and other spheres, will promote the broad exchange of
information and will conscientiously and unconditionally observe
The parties consider it a necessity to conclude agreements on
co-operation in the above spheres.
The high contracting parties recognize and respect one another's
territorial integrity and the inviolability of existing borders
within the Commonwealth.
They guarantee openness of borders, freedom of movement for
citizens and of transmission of information within the
The member-states of the Commonwealth will co-operate in
safeguarding international peace and security and in implementing
effective measures for reducing weapons and military spending. They
seek the elimination of all nuclear weapons and universal total
disarmament under strict international control.
The parties will respect one another's aspiration to attain the
status of a non-nuclear zone and a neutral state.
The member-states of the community will preserve and maintain
under united command a common military-strategic space, including
unified control over nuclear weapons, the procedure for
implementing which is regulated by a special agreement.
They also jointly guarantee the necessary conditions for the
stationing and functioning of and for material and social provision
for the strategic armed forces. The parties contract to pursue a
harmonized policy on questions of social protection and pension
provision for members of the services and their families.
The high contracting parties recognize that within the sphere of
their activities, implemented on the equal basis through the common
coordinating institutions of the Commonwealth, will be the
- co-operation in the sphere of foreign policy;
- co-operation in forming and developing the united economic
area, the common European and Eurasian markets, in the area of
- co-operation in developing transport and communication
- co-operation in preservation of the environment, and
participation in creating a comprehensive international system of
- migration policy issues;
- and fighting organized crime.
The parties realize the planetary character of the Chernobyl
catastrophe and pledge themselves to unite and co-ordinate their
efforts in minimizing and overcoming its consequences.
To these ends they have decided to conclude a special agreement
which will take consider [sic] the gravity of the consequences of
The disputes regarding interpretation and application of the
norms of this agreement are to be solved by way of negotiations
between the appropriate bodies, and when necessary, at the level of
heads of the governments and states.
Each of the high contracting parties reserved the right to
suspend the validity of the present agreement or individual
articles thereof, after informing the parties to the agreement of
this a year in advance.
The clauses of the present agreement may be addended to or
amended with the common consent of the high contracting parties.
From the moment that the present agreement is signed, the norms
of third states, including the former USSR, are not permitted to be
implemented on the territories of the signatory states.
The high contracting parties guarantee the fulfillment of the
international obligations binding upon them from the treaties and
agreements of the former USSR.
The present agreement does not affect the obligations of the
high contracting parties in regard to third states.
The present agreement is open for all member-states of the
former USSR to join, and also for other states which share the
goals and principles of the present agreement.
The city of Minsk is the official location of the coordinating
bodies of the Commonwealth.
The activities of bodies of the former USSR are discontinued on the territories
of the member-states of the Commonwealth.