Statement of the Azerbaijani President Heydar Aliyev in connection with repeal of on abolishment \"Belovejsk\" agreement by the resolution of the parliament of Russian Federation on march 16, 1996

Yesterday the Russian parliament passed a resolution. This resolution caused great reverberation and anxiety in the world. By this resolution the Russian Parliament repealed the Belovejsk agreement signed by Ukraine, Russia and Belarus on December 38, 1991. The repeal of the agreement as the restoration of the Former Soviet Union, and it arise great interest in Russia and other countries.

What can I say about it? It is a very surprising resolution. At the same time it is surprising that State Duma looks for the guilty of destruction in the Soviet Union and wants them to be punished. I think that this is absurd. Because following the course of natural and objective laws Soviet Union collapsed as a result of historical, socio-political events ongoing in the world since the early 1980s. It had to collapse and it did. There is no way back. No one can restore it again.

The resolution of parliament is the internal affair of Russia. Undoubtedly this can\'t affect other independent states. As to the position of Azerbaijan, our attitude is clear. I have declared our position many times.

Last year we adopted the first constitution of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. This low was adopted by the general voting of nation. The national freedom, sovereignity, independence of Azerbaijan forms the basis of our constitution. We can\'t renounce our state independence. I have said many times and today declare once more that the independence of Azerbaijan is eternal. We shall work for it and every one should.

As I am obliged to express my view on this issue, I want to glance back to the events which take place five years ago.

Five years ago in 1991 the process of the destruction of the Soviet Union was going on. The former leaders of the Soviet Union, as well some heads of various countries within this union were trying to preserve this Union. The destruction process was so powerful that they were trying to take measures against it. Then they thought that the Soviet Union did not meet the demands of the time. They decided to conduct a national referendum for preserving the Soviet Union and to attach a new character to it.

The people didn\'t accept this decision positively. I know and I felt in those days that our nation supports the fall of this union, was against the referendum for establishment of new union and preserving it. But unfortunately the leaders of Azerbaijan couldn\'t see the interests of the country, they even were trying fulfill the instructions delivering from Moscow better and were striving to conduct the referendum.

We remember that on March 7, 1991, the special session of the former Soviet Union was held and the issue on conducting a referendum for preserving Soviet Union was discussed there. The referendum was to be conducted on March 17. In those days I was at this session as a parliament member of Naxchivan Autonomous Republic. I made a speech there and stressed once more that the Soviet Union would collapse. I said that it was impossible to prevent it, the Soviet Union was collapsing and it had be. Azerbaijan had not to join any union and take part at the referendum to preserve the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, then I faced various impoliteness by the order of former authorities and they made speeches against me. They even passed a resolution to set up a commission for revising my past activities with the goal of punishing me. I simply disclosed my opinion. It was five years ago, in March of 1991. It is march now, too. My words said five years ago became true, Azerbaijan gained independence.

Today if some people wants to reform this union, it is absurd. Because if in those days they couldn\'t preserve the union and it collapsed, the former republics gained independence, entered the world community, now which of them would renounce its independence and join the alliance? I can say once more that even now some political figures who passed this resolution in accordance with the processes ongoing in Russia have their own purposes. It\'s their own business and internal issue of Russia, we do not interfere in it, neither do I. But I only express my attitude, using this chance I remind the March events of 1991.

It was very hard and difficult days for Azerbaijan. I expressed my views when Azerbaijan was a part of the Soviet Union. It\'s true that in those days they did not obey me. Not only me, but other parliament members also thought that this referendum must not be conducted in Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, they decided to conduct a referendum on March 17, 1991, under the pressure of the former leadership of Azerbaijan. But I want to emphasize that in Naxchivan Autonomous Republic where I have lived and was elected member of the parliament of Azerbaijan did not conduct the referendum for preserving the Soviet Union. This was the result of my will and my companions. The referendum was conducted in all the regions of Azerbaijan. Undoubtedly, they gave information that about 90 per cent of population supports the Soviet Union. Thus Azerbaijan voted for preserving the Soviet Union. But I think that our nation did not vote, the referendum were falsificated.

The events which took place later proved that this decision was wrong. It was against the interests of the Azerbaijani nation. Because, as you know, after some time, in August there was a rebel in Moscow and the leadership of Azerbaijan was obliged to make a statement of independence. They had no other way. Because in Moscow, at the center of the Soviet Union the USSR was collapsing. They had no other chances. Then the process of independence of the Azerbaijani Republic started.

Today I remind all of this because I want you to make inference from these events and not let our politicians commit mistakes. My speech at the Parliament on March 7, 1991, remains. Surely, our readers have read it and can remind that days.

I say to the correspondents of foreign countries here and to those of Azerbaijan that we shall not give up our independence and the resolution of the Russian parliament will not produce any results for them. I say once more that this is their internal problem, but our position is like this. Thank you.