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Boris Yeltsin believes that the transformation of the former Soviet Union into CIS was inevitable
Russia’s first president Boris Yeltsin believes that the transformation of the former Soviet Union into the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was inevitable. He said in an interview with Rossiskaya Gazeta published on Thursday that that at the beginning of 1991, the “economic situation in the Soviet Union was close to a collapse”, triggering a political crisis in the country. A string of bloody conflicts flared up in the once stable and unshakable Soviet Union: the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, the gruesome events in Tbilisi and in the Baltic republics. “Union authority every time made mistakes, now not acknowledging apparent facts and now using excessive force”, which “could not but lead to a crisis of trust between the national republics and Moscow”. “It became apparent to the Kremlin that the Soviet Union cannot be held within the old framework. And then the decision was made on the establishment of a new Union treaty with new, broadened powers of the republics within the USSR,” Yeltsin said. The treaty most likely would have been signed if it were not for the putsch in August 1991 that “buried all accords on the establishment of a new union,” he said. “Creating the CIS, leaders of the republics tried to mitigate the consequences that the residents of the former Soviet Union could experience from the collapse of the state.” Yeltsin stressed that “thanks to the establishment of the CIS, global shocks, potential wars between the former republics, financial and humanitarian catastrophes were avoided”. “I still believe that the creation of the CIS was the sole alternative to an inevitable and uncontrollable collapse of the former Soviet Union. And I now express gratitude to all who signed our treaty on the creation of the CIS for shown responsibility to history and their peoples,” Yeltsin said. He admitted that he is nostalgic for the gone USSR. He added “it should not be forgotten that people had a very hard time in the recent years of the USSR, both materially and spiritually. All have somehow forgotten now what are empty counters, what it is like to be afraid to tell your thoughts that run counter to the ‘general line of the party’. But this must not be forgotten on any account”.
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