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#6 - JRL 2006-277 - JRL Home
Soviet collapse was only right decision - Shevardnadze

TBILISI. Dec 7 (Interfax) - The agreement on the disintegration of the Soviet Union signed by the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus in 1991 was the only correct decision at that time, former Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze told Interfax ahead of the document's 15th anniversary.

"Presidents Boris Yeltsin, Leonid Kravchuk and Stanislav Shushkevich [who served as chairman of the Belarussian Supreme Council in 1991] kept everything secret and publicized the document only after it had been signed. It was the only correct decision because the party dictatorship was gaining momentum and could have staged a counter- revolution, flooding the whole of the Soviet Union with blood," he said.

"Indeed, every day mattered then. The so-called Politburo old guard was ready to resort to any methods to nip the first aspirations for democracy in the bud," Shevardnadze said.

"I have to confess that [former Soviet president] Mikhail Gorbachev acted like a real hero then. He could have led a counter-revolution and stayed in power through bloodshed. But he did not do that," the ex- Georgian president said.

Delays with the Soviet collapse could have led "to unpredictable tragic events that would have affected the entire world immediately," he said.