A photo: Viktor GUSEINOV
31 years ago were signed Belavezha agreements.
This date was dedicated to the traditional “Question of the Day” is our regular section.
This time we asked: “What do you most regret about the collapse of the USSR, and what did you easily give up?”
Among our experts, whose answers are published in the daily “Komsomolskaya Pravda” (capital issue) on Wednesday, December 7, was the ex-prime minister of Russia, chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Territorial Development Fund (Housing and Utilities Fund) Sergei Stepashin.
Below we publish our conversation in more detail.
… – It’s a pity that after the collapse of the USSR, 25 million Russian citizens found themselves outside our country, in a difficult situation, in all, by the way, republics, – Sergey Vadimovich noted. – Somehow I told Burbulis (I was among those who signed the Belovezhskaya Accords. – A.G.) – why were the obvious things not prescribed – the preservation of a single army, a single currency and a common bank, and the coordination of foreign policy? Then these agreements, perhaps, would create the basis for building a new state, similar to the United States and the Federal Republic of Germany.
But they did not think about the future.
And what Soviet would I easily refuse myself? Yes, there was nothing Soviet. Our Soviet power ended under Stalin and it never happened again.
– Do you think so?
– After all, when we went to the elections – both the deputies of the USSR and Russia – with the slogan “All power to the Soviets” – we ourselves well understood that this was all – in many respects formal. And – amorphous.
Power in such a huge country as ours, especially a multinational one with such a gigantic territory, should be tough and strong enough. Which, by the way, we are building today, according to the new Constitution. (Stepashin means the amendments made in the summer of 2021 – A.G.)
– Sergei Vadimovich, what do you think, by chance or not in 2022, in just a month and a half, the signatories of the Belovezhskaya agreements – Burbulis, Kravchuk, Shushkevich – passed away?.. Maybe this is an omen from above?
– I don’t know, it is necessary to ask the Almighty, the Creator. But he is unlikely to answer this question for us. God rest them, but I definitely won’t pray for Kravchuk.
– It’s clear.
And one more question. These days, Vladimir Putin is holding several meetings related to the deepening of the integration of the former Soviet republics. And next Friday, the President of Russia plans to visit Bishkek to participate in the summit of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). How do you assess the fact that Russia, in spite of everything, is still trying to gather – let’s put it this way – countries interested in our commonwealth?
– Well, who else to collect? Let’s be honest too. Nursultan Nazarbayev had the first idea of the Eurasian economic and political space, if one can call it that, and then Boris Yeltsin supported him. But, unfortunately, apart from words, there were few deeds.
Now life is forcing us to seriously reconsider our relations, including on the subject that you just mentioned.
And this, of course, is for the benefit of the countries and peoples of the former USSR.