The Soviet Union/Russia 1990-1992:
Professor John Baylis
[Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Studies]
Department of International Politics
The Soviet Union 1990-92: Friend or Enemy?
During a visit to the United States in 1987 a Soviet spokesperson, Georgy Arbator announced “we are going to do a terrible thing to you - we are going to deprive you of an enemy”. This remark reflected the concerted campaign waged by President Gorbachev from 1985 onwards to improve relations with the west in order to address the serious weaknesses of the Soviet economy and the decline in the international prestige of the Soviet Union following its intervention in Afghanistan. This campaign involved unprecedented changes in Soviet domestic, foreign and defence policies in the period from 1985 to 1992. Glasnost (openness) and perestroika (economic restructuring) at home were combined with ‘new thinking’ in the conduct of diplomacy and military policy, all of which represented a ‘fundamental break’ with past policies.
The Cold War and Western Perceptions
The history of the Cold War from 1945 to 1985 was characterized by an intense ideological confrontation which sharpened and deepened the conflicting interests of the two superpowers which dominated the international system. The bipolar structure of international politics which emerged from this confrontation was institutionalized by the formation of NATO in 1949 and the Warsaw Pact in 1955 which in turn helped to freeze and prolong the antagonisms between East and West. Regional conflicts such as those in Korea and later in Afghanistan were invested with global significance as the superpowers sought to continue their rivalry on the international stage. Despite the hostile confrontations of East/West relations (which in the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear war) the Cold war was characterized by some mitigating features. Throughout the period, and particularly after 1962, both superpowers made sure that they avoided direct military confrontation. As the Cold war went on they also began to recognize that despite their conflicting interests they also shared interests in common - particularly in avoiding a nuclear holocaust. As a result, arms control negotiations and a process of diplomatic dialogue took place creating periods of ‘peaceful coexistence’ and detente alongside those of tension and hostility. This was so from 1953 to 1955, 1959, 1963-67 and 1970 to 1975. Some of the negotiations brought significant agreements, such as SALT 1, Conventions on avoiding nuclear war and the Helsinki Final Act, while others provided only a platform for mutual recriminations and further hostility, such as the Mutual Balanced Force Reduction Talks (MBFR) and the Helsinki review conferences.
The significance of these events for the period from 1985 to 1992 is worth highlighting. The Cold War was characterized by hostility, mutual suspicion and an apparently cyclical process which brought periods of reduced tension which subsequently gave way to periods of renewed antagonism. For most writers on international politics, as for most politicians in the west, there seemed no immediate likelihood that this pattern of relationships, characterized by an underlying tension, would end in the foreseeable future. The Cold War had been with us since the late 1940s and there seemed no reason to believe that the key features of contemporary international politics would change in the foreseeable future. Hopes were raised by the periods of detente, especially in the 1970s but the onset of what became known as the ‘second cold war’ after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 and the election of Ronald Reagan as American President, brought a more sceptical approach, even amongst those who believed that it might be possible to transform the nature of international politics. Such a prospect for most commentators seemed a long way off.
Initial Western Reactions to ‘New Thinking’ in the Soviet Union
Given this backdrop of long-term hostility, intensified by the events of the early 1980s, it is perhaps not altogether surprising that Western governments reacted cautiously to the ‘new thinking’ of President Gorbachev after 1985. As one source puts it: ‘fears that these reforms might fail, that Gorbachev was an evil genius conning the West, or that his promises could not be trusted were uppermost in the minds of both Presidents Ronald Reagan and, later, George Bush’ (Kegley & Wittkopf, 1993, p. 103). In May 1989 President Bush warned that ‘the Soviet Union had promised a more cooperative relationship before - only to reverse course and return to militarism’.
The years 1989 and 1990, however, did represent a significant turning point in Western perceptions of the Soviet Union. Building on the INF Treaty of 1987 which promised the removal of theatre nuclear weapons from Europe, President Gorbachev began the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, provided the green light for democratic revolutions throughout Eastern Europe and announced major unilateral reductions in Soviet military spending. In November 1989 the Berlin Wall, the symbol of the division of Germany and Europe, was dismantled and in their summit meeting in December in Malta Presidents Bush and Gorbachev announced ‘the end of the Cold War’. At the same time the Soviet leader continued his domestic reforms towards greater democratisation, the adoption of a market economy and broader economic and political cooperation with the West.
The London Declaration July 1990
The reaction of the Western powers, including Britain to these historical developments was welcoming, but cautious. This is shown by the ‘London Declaration On a Transformed North Atlantic Alliance’ of 5-6 July 1990. In their Declaration the NATO Government leaders emphasized that ‘Europe had entered a new, promising era’ and that the Alliance had to adapt to the new circumstances. As part of this process of adaptation it was proposed that there should be a joint declaration with the Warsaw Pact in which
‘.... we solemnly state that we are no longer adversaries and reaffirm our intention to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state ...’
It was also suggested that representatives from the Soviet Union, Central and Eastern European countries should visit NATO and establish regular diplomatic and military liaison with the Western Alliance. This represented an unprecedented development given the military confrontation between the two alliances over the previous thirty five years.
At the same time the Declaration remained somewhat cautious reflecting the continuing uncertainty of Western governments to the durability of the changes. Phrases such as ‘no-one, however, can be certain of the future’, and, ‘the Alliance must maintain for the foreseeable future, an appropriate mix of nuclear and conventional forces, based in Europe and kept up to date ...’ indicates the concern of Alliance leaders to maintain security while reacting to change. The same optimism, qualified with a strong dose of caution, is reflected in the British Defence White Paper of 1990. In the Introduction to the Paper Tom King, the Defence Secretary, argued that the developments in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe held out great hope for the future of European Security. At the same time, however, he warned that:
‘... these are still early days and we cannot be certain what the outcome will be. We hope it will be a good one but our approach must be based on being able to respond to a range of possible outcomes not just the one we hope to see’ (Cm 1022-1, p.5).
This caution, some would say ambivalence, in the Western response to the Soviet Union continued into 1991. At one level the process of unprecedented cooperation continued with co-ordination of policy on the Persian Gulf following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the offer of major economic assistance following the London summit in July, together with the START and CFE arms control agreements. At the same time the Warsaw Pact was disbanded in April and by December the USSR itself had been dissolved to be replaced by a new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Those welcome developments, however, occurred in parallel with more worrying events, including disputes between the Soviet republics and domestic instabilities culminating in the attempted coup by hard-line communist officials in August. Despite the failure of the coup it was clear that the enormous domestic economic and political strains were likely to influence Russian foreign policy for some time to come.
The Rome Declaration November 1991
In the context of this continuing uncertainty the ‘Rome Declaration on Peace and Cooperation’ was issued by the NATO governments following the NATO council meeting on the 7-8 November 1991. Building on the decisions reached at the London meeting the Declaration emphasised that the dramatic changes which had taken place meant that ‘the peoples of North America and the whole of Europe can now join in a community of shared values based on freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law’. ‘The hand of friendship’ offered to former adversaries should now be extended further specifically by the establishment of a North Atlantic Cooperation Council which would institutionalise ‘the relationship of consultation and cooperation on political and security issues’.
At the same time NATO announced the introduction of a ‘New Strategic Concept’ to replacethe old strategy of Flexible Response agreed in 1967. The new strategy was to be based on three mutually reinforcing elements: dialogue; cooperation and the maintenance of a collective defence capability. In the post-Cold War era it was argued that ‘the threat of a simultaneous, full-scale attack on all of NATO’s fronts’ had been replaced by ‘risks’ that were ‘multi-faceted’ and ‘multi-directional’ which were harder ‘to predict and assess’. Reflecting the continuing worry about developments in the former Soviet Union the discussion on the ‘New Strategic Concept’ then went on to make the following point.
'In the particular case of the Soviet Union, the risks and uncertainties that accompany the process of change cannot be seen in isolation from the fact that its conventional forces are significantly larger than those of any other European State and its large nuclear arsenal comparable only with that of the United States. These capabilities have to be taken into account if stability and security in Europe are to be preserved’.
And later it was argued that:
‘Even in a non-adversarial and co-operative relationship. Soviet military capability and build-up potential, including its nuclear dimension, still constitute the most significant factor of which the Alliance has to take account in maintaining the strategic balance in Europe’.
There is considerable emphasis in the document on the importance of ‘cooperation’ and ‘partnership’ with the Soviet Union and Central and Eastern European States and the need to respond to new opportunities. At the same time, however, it was emphasised that ‘the new security environment does not change the purpose or the security functions of the Alliance, but rather underlines their enduring validity’.
This continuing hesitancy towards the long-term significance of events in the former Soviet Union reflected the growing concern in Western capitals that the evolution of Russia, under the newly elected President Yeltsin, towards a democratic future was far from certain. Yeltsin was seen as a courageous populist politician worthy of Western support but the chaotic nature of the Russian economy, the continuing opposition of nationalist and communist factions and the tensions between the former Soviet republics meant that the success of the Russian democratic experiment was far from certain This Western anxiety was summed up in President Bush’s comment in November 1991 that ‘the collapse of communism has thrown open a Pandora’s Box of ancient ethnic hatreds, resentment, even revenge’.
Continuing Western Ambivalence
The roller coaster of international change continued in 1992. At one level those who held an optimistic view of events in the former Soviet Union pointed to the agreements between the former Soviet republics and the changes in Russian strategic policy as evidence that the events of the past three years were irreversible. The leaders of the newly sovereign republics pledged to respect political pluralism, to create a market economy, and to hold nationalist resentment in check. They also accepted the need to try and construct common economic and military policies. In the case of the latter, in January 1992 they made a verbal commitment to accept Russian command of all nuclear weapons in the former Soviet republics and to abide by the provisions of the START and CFE agreements. These positive developments were taken a stage further with Deputy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar’s announcement that the defence budget would be radically cut (January 1992) and President Yeltsin’s declaration that Russia no longer intended to target US cities and military bases with nuclear weapons. In line with this change Yeltsin claimed that Russia would ‘no longer consider the United States our potential adversary’. At the Camp David Summit meeting on 31 January 1992, Bush and Yeltsin also agreed to a series of ‘confidence-building measures’ designed to ‘cement the partnership’ in the ‘new era’ by working together ‘to remove any remnants of Cold War hostility’. Their ‘Declaration on New Relations’ stated that ‘from now on the relationship [between Russia and the West] will be characterised by friendship and partnership, founded on mutual trust’.
Despite these hopeful developments, 1992 also witnessed anxiety in Western capitals over the worsening economic, social and political turmoil within Russia, disagreements between the former republics particularly over military policies, and the growth of ethnic and nationalist conflict. The euphoria of 1989-90 which had been in retreat in 1991 had given way by 1992 to a much more sceptical view about the opportunities for creating a new European and world order. The 1992 British Defence White Paper reflected this increased scepticism when it argued that although the strategic environment had changed dramatically and the hope remained that it would be possible to build on a spirit of cooperation rather than discord, nevertheless serious risks and uncertainties remained. In its assessment of these risks the White Paper emphasised the British government’s continuing concern over the durability of the reform process in the former Soviet Union. In the words of the White Paper:
‘The main threat to the security of the United Kingdom used to be from a monolithic, ideologically-hostile Warsaw Pact; now the risks to our security are more diverse and uncertain. The possibility of the kind of East-West conflict that threatened Europe in the past has disappeared, though allowance has to be made for uncertainty over future developments in the former Soviet Union, where for the foreseeable future an enormous concentration of conventional, nuclear and chemical warfare capabilities will remain. Should the reform process which we are actively supporting, not proceed as we hope, these capabilities could again come under the control of one or more Governments either not well-disposed or hostile to the West’ (Cm 1981, p.8).
The slightly ambiguous lesson for the British government was that the changed strategic environment meant that the major cuts in Britain’s armed forces under ‘Options for Change’ in 1990 should still be implemented but the West had to maintain effective armed forces (at lower levels) in case Russia and the former Soviet republics changed direction. These worries were further reinforced by the deterioration of the situation in former Yugoslavia and the continuing uncertainties in the Middle East.
Before some general conclusions can be drawn from this analysis of the events of the period from 1990 to 1992 there are two specific issues which need to be discussed. The first relates to the assessment of ‘threat’ and ‘an enemy’. The second relates to the distinction between government ‘declaratory’ and ‘actual policy’.
Threat Assessment is a notoriously inexact science. Conventional academic analysis suggests that the identification of an ‘enemy’ and the determination of whether an enemy poses ‘a threat’ to a nation’s national security is invariably the result of judgements about the inter-relationship of capabilities and intentions. A state may have the capabilities to threaten another but if it does not have the intention to cause harm then it is usually not regarded as a threat. The United States in the post-war period clearly has had the military potential to destroy Britain but no British government since 1945 has believed that the United States has been a threat. Equally a state may have hostile intentions towards another but without the military capabilities to threaten that country’s security interests it is unlikely to be regarded as a threat. Angola during the 1970s and early 1980s probably regarded the United States with hostility but it is unlikely that the American governments of the period ever regarded Angola as a direct threat to US security. For a state to be regarded as a threat and therefore as an ‘enemy’, it is normally accepted that it has to have both capabilities to threaten and the intentions to do so.
One problem which arises from this is that intentions are extremely difficult to calculate. Do states assess intentions on the basis of ideological differences, the rhetoric employed in government statements, the actions undertaken by other states or by a state’s reputation? Experience suggests that all of these factors are important. What matters, however, is how these inter-related ‘signals’ are interpreted by the key officials and statesmen who determine policy. In turn this evaluation invariably depends on the domestic organisational and bureaucratic decision-making processes of the state concerned. Assessments are filtered through the lenses of different government organisations with their own standard operating procedures and specific bureaucratic interests. In this respect assessments of the intentions of other states are the result of subjective judgements which reflect political power relationships within states. Much the same is true of military capabilities. Although in some ways more objective calculations can be made of the military strength of another state (by assessing the numbers and effectiveness of the forces and weapons available to that state) even these judgements can be imprecise and subject to differing interpretations by military experts. The essential point which follows form this is that the identification of an ‘enemy’ and a ‘threat’ to national security interests is always the result of political judgement - and judgements will differ and change over time. In a democracy, however, the legitimate decision - making authority rests, and must rest, with the elected government of the day. It is their political judgement that matters even though there will be those in society who take issue with their decisions. This said the internal politics of decision-making means that government policy is not always coherent. Governments can, and do, face in different directions simultaneously, especially in periods of uncertainty.
The Question of ‘Declaratory’ and ‘Actual’ Policy
This raises a further question of whether a government’s ‘declared’ policy is always the same as its ‘actual’ policy. The public announcement of government policies both domestically and internationally can be, and often are, desired to achieve different things. Sometimes public statements reflect what a government intends to do. At other times, however, for a variety of reasons, what governments say and what they plan to do in secret are different. This is often the product of diplomatic and national security calculations. From 1944 onwards, for example, the British Chiefs of Staff increasingly (in secret) viewed the Soviet Union as a potential enemy, despite the fact that the two states remained allies in the war against Germany. From this time until 1947, however, the government refused to identify the Soviet Union publicly as an enemy, despite the growing tensions and military contingency planning that was taking place. To have identified the Soviet Union formally as a potential enemy would have totally undermined whatever prospects still remained for creating a more co-operative partnership with the Soviet Union. This was a period (like the early 1990s) of transition and uncertainty which required the Labour government of the day to try, difficult as it was, to keep open the prospects for cooperation with the Soviet Union, while preparing for the worst should collaboration become impossible. The Chiefs of Staff, given their responsibilities, had to make their plans on the assumption that relations might continue to deteriorate.
The period from 1989 to 1992 was an astonishing period in international politics. Past experience suggested that fundamental transformations of the international system were the result of conflict and war. In this instance, however, the Soviet Union peacefully relinquished its control over Eastern Europe and even accepted its own dissolution with the minimum of violence. As such these events were not predicted and inevitably resulted in a period of confusion, uncertainty and transition as governments attempted to come to terms with the radically new circumstances which were unfolding. The concepts and thought patterns of the cold war were no longer of use but as yet there were no new ones to take their place. In this context the attitudes of the British government towards the Soviet Union and then Russia, perhaps not surprisingly were cautious and in many ways ambivalent.
The ‘new thinking’ in the Soviet Union and the actions which followed could not be ignored. The opportunity existed for a new chapter of East-West relations which would reduce the dangers of nuclear war and provide a ‘peace dividend’ for Western governments facing severe economic difficulties. Given the uncertainties associated with the fast moving developments in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Britain and her allies pursued a mixture of policies in the political, economic and military realms which were designed to promote the process of reform while safeguarding against the possibility that the changes might not last. The dilemma for Western governments was that only half-hearted support might undermine Gorbachev, and later Yeltsin, while a full-scale commitment might yield resources which could strengthen the hand of a hostile successor government.
Faced with this dilemma Western governments simultaneously offered ‘the hand of friendship’ and in rhetorical terms declared ‘the end of the cold war’, ‘the end of the adversarial relationship’ and the beginning of ‘a new era of partnership’. The establishment of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council, bilateral and multilateral military visits, far-reaching arms control agreements and major reductions in defence spending all contributed to the creation of a new atmosphere in East-West relations which it was hoped would finally end the antagonisms of the past. As the London and Rome Declarations of 1990 and 1991 and the British Defence White Papers of the period indicate, however, Western leaders remained highly cautious about the reform process in the Soviet Union. The implementation of arms control agreements lay in the future and there was no guarantee that ‘progressive’ pro-Western forces would remain in power. If the word ‘enemy’ is defined as a state ‘with whom we might one day be at war’, it would not be surprising that during this period of transition and uncertainty contingency planning existed, despite the rhetoric of the day, to preserve western security in the event of the re-emergence of a more hostile Russian state in the future.
1. C W Kegley and E R Wittkopf, World Politics: Trend and Transformation (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1993)
2. The Transformation of an Alliance: The decision of NATO’s Heads of State and Government (Brussels. 1992).
1. US-Soviet Summit Meetings 1955-92
2. Chronologies 1990-1992
3. US-Soviet Relations 1948-91
4. US-Soviet Trade 1979-1990
5. Key Events in the Soviet Union’s Disintegration at Home and Retreat Abroad 1985-1991
Summit, Participants, and Results
Geneva, July 18-23, 1955
Soviets pledge to return German prisoners of war to Germany
Camp David - September 15-27, 1959
Settlement of issue of Germany is advanced
Vienna - June 3-4, 1961
Soviets assure US it will not be the first to resume nuclear testing
Glassboro, NJ - June 23, 1967
Kosygin rejects US proposals for negotiations to ban ABMs
Moscow - May 22-29, 1972
SALT 1 and ABM agreements concluded
Camp David - June 17-25, 1973
Leaders agree to meet on a regular basis
Moscow - June 27-July 3, 1974
Threshold Test Ban Treaty signed
Vladivostok - November, 23, 1974
Superpowers establish guidelines for a SALT II agreement
Vienna - June 14, 1979
SALT II Treaty signed
Geneva - November 19-21, 1985
Agreement reached to open consulates in New York and Kiev
Reykjavik - October 10-12, 1986
Arms control issues discussed without substantive agreement
Washington - December 7-10, 1987
INF Treaty signed
Moscow - May 5-June7, 1988
Joint Verification Experiment signed, INF Treaty instruments of ratification exchanged
Malta - December 2-3, 1989
Superpowers agree to push for strategic and conventional arms control agreements at a new summit scheduled for mid-1990
Washington - May 31-June 3, 1990
Accord on methods for verifying limits on nuclear testing and on cutting US and Soviet stockpiles of chemical weapons signed.
Helsinki - September 9, 1990
Joint communiqué condemning Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait issued, along with agreement to coordinate policy on the Persian Gulf crisis
London - July 15-17, 1991
Bush-Gorbachev and leaders of top industrialized states
Soviets offered economic assistance, contingent upon further reforms
Moscow - July 30-31, 1991
First arms agreement (START) to reduce intercontinental nuclear weapons signed
Madrid - October 29, 1991
Ways to bridge differences and reduce stockpiles of long-range missiles beyond the START agreement discussed
Camp David January 31, 1992
Confidence-building to “cement partnership” “in a new era” by working together “to remove any remnants of Cold War hostility,” plans to exchange summits later in 1992 in each other’s country
Washington June 16-17, 1992
Deep cuts in strategic nuclear arsenals and plans to scrap all land-based, multiple warhead nuclear weapons announced
19 National Security Council agrees to relax controls on high-technology sales to eastern Europe.
25 US President George Bush announces $l0-bn anti-drugs campaign and $l-bn aid package to revive Panamanian economy.
29 US Defense Secretary Richard Cheney presents FY 1990-91 defence budget of $306.9bn.
29 Bush presents FY 1990-91 budget of $ 1.23 trillion.
31 In State of Union address, Bush proposes superpower troop cuts in Europe to 195,000 each.
12-14 During ‘open skies’ conference in Ottawa, agreement reached on arms-control issues and on Two-plus-Four formula for German unification talks.
20 President Vaclav Havel becomes first Czech head of state to pay an official visit to the US.
24-25 After 2 days of talks at Camp David, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Bush agree on strategy for German unification.
9 Defense Department announces $2-bn military anti-drug effort in Caribbean; plan includes use of AWACS planes.
13 Bush ends sanctions against Nicaragua and announces $300-m aid package.
16 State Department announces that the US will not rejoin UNESCO, citing waste and poor management.
17 In Washington, Bush addresses the opening of a 2-day international conference on the environment and global warming; he calls for more research before action is taken.
19 Presidents Bush and Mitterrand agree to French participation in future NATO summits on European security.
19 Defense Department spokesman announces withdrawal of 15,000 US troops from Asia over 3 years.
4 Bush outlines US concept of future European security and announces cancellation of Lance modernization plans.
9-10 NATO defence ministers meet in Calgary, postpone decisions on nuclear weapons deployment and disarmament.
24 Bush renews China’s most favoured nation trade status for 1 year.
31 During superpower summit US presents USSR with 9-point plan on German unification; agreements on arms cuts signed; summit ends (3 June).
11 Former National Security adviser John Poindexter jailed for 6 months on Iran-Contra charges.
27 Bush launches ‘Enterprise for the Americas’ initiative to promote Latin American economic growth.
9-11 G-7 summit held in Houston; little agreement is reached.
18 US Secretary of State James Baker announces resumption of talks with Vietnam on Cambodia and withdrawal of recognition of Khmer Rouge.
20 Retrial ordered for Oliver North on Iran-Contra charges.
23 Bush announces trade and aid initiative for Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
27 Congress imposes economic sanctions on Iraq.
2 Speaking in Colorado, Bush outlines restructuring of US forces, involving 25% cut in strength.
5 225 US Marines sent to Liberia to evacuate US citizens and dependents; over 850 people are evacuated in 2-week operation.
18 Pentagon announces scaling-down of 151 US bases worldwide and withdrawal of 40,000 troops from western Europe by end of 1991 (26).
29 Baker meets Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach in New York.
30 Bush reaches agreement with Congress to cut budget deficit by $500bn over next 5 years; deal includes tax increases.
1 Baker announces suspension of foreign aid to Pakistan after disclosure of nuclear weapons development.
17 Congress agrees on FY 1991 defence bill of $289bn: agrees plan to cut $492bn from deficit over 5 years (27).
17 US officials and visiting Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach agree to increased co-operation on US servicemen missing in Vietnam.
27 In Mexico, Bush and President Carlos Salinas de Gortari agree to negotiate a free-trade agreement.
31 Bush holds talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen in Washington.
12 Bush announces up to $lbn in credit guarantees to aid Soviet reform.
21-22 UK Prime Minister John Major makes inaugural visit to Washington.
The Soviet Union
3 KGB sends troops to control ethnic rioting in Nakhichevan along Iran-Azerbaijan border; official Iranian delegation arrives in Moscow to discuss unrest (7).
11 Armenian parliament declares its right to overrule Soviet laws.
13 Ethnic fighting erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan; Moscow sends in 11,000 troops (15); calls up reservists (18); Soviet troops end blockade of Baku port (24); Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders agree to cease-fire (25); accept mediation offer by Baltic popular fronts (29).
15 Pro-independence Algirdas Brazauskas elected President of Lithuanian parliament after resignation of Vytautas Astranskas.
4 Peace talks in Latvia on Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict collapse.
7 Central Committee plenum amends constitution and abandons communist monopoly on power.
12 Curfew imposed in Dushanbe, Tajikistan after pogroms against Armenians; rioting spreads to Uzbekistan (16) and Kazakhstan (17).
24 Independence movement, Sajudis, gains majority in Lithuanian parliamentary elections.
26-27 During visit to Moscow, President Mikhail Gorbachev and Czech President Havel sign agreement guaranteeing complete Soviet troop withdrawal from Czechoslovakia by July 1991.
4 City of Parkent in Uzbekistan sealed off after demonstrators clash.
4 Local elections held in republics of Russia, Byelorussia and Ukraine.
10 Agreement signed in Moscow guaranteeing total withdrawal of Soviet troops from Hungary by June 1991.
11 Lithuania declares its independence from USSR, elects Sajudis head Vytautas Laudsbergis President; Congress of People’s Deputies rules declaration invalid (15); Soviet troops begin occupation of key buildings in republic (27).
13-14 Congress of People’s Deputies amends constitution to create executive presidency and appoints Gorbachev to post.
30 Estonian parliament votes for gradual secession from USSR, avoiding outright declaration of independence.
10-11 UK Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd visits Moscow to discuss German unification and CFE troop cuts.
11 Estonian parliament demands immediate talks with Gorbachev on restoring independence; suspends military service by its citizens in Soviet armed forces (12).
12 Tass admits that Katyn massacre of Polish army prisoners was carried out by the Soviet NKVD.
18 Moscow imposes economic sanctions against Lithuania; which reciprocates (22).
23-25 Li Peng makes first visit by Chinese premier to USSR since 1964; agreements reached on economic and scientific co-operation and border troop reductions.
27-28 Middle East peace issues discussed in meetings between Syrian President Assad and Gorbachev.
3 Armenian parliament suspends call-up of nationals to Soviet armed forces.
4 Latvian parliament declares independence from USSR.
12 Presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia revive Baltic Council formed in 1934; demand joint peace talks with Gorbachev; Gorbachev proclaims independence declarations of Estonia and Latvia invalid (14).
17 First direct talks between Gorbachev and Lithuanian Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene fail to resolve differences.
22 Gorbachev and cabinet approve move to ‘regulated market economy’.
29 Boris Yeltsin elected President of RSFSR.
4 Ethnic rioting between Uzbeks and Kirghizes begins in Kirghizia; Uzbekistan-Kirghizia border closed (7); Uzbek parliament declares sovereignty (20).
5 At CSCE meeting in Denmark, USSR announces unilateral cut in SNF.
6 First meeting of Baltic Council held in Riga.
12 Russian parliament proclaims sovereignty, but not independence from Soviet Union.
13 Gorbachev granted powers by parliament to effect transfer to market economy and proposes union treaty of sovereign states.
23 Republic of Moldova declares sovereignty.
29 Lithuanian parliament suspends declaration of independence for 100 days in return for end to sanctions; oil blockade lifted by Moscow (30).
2 28th CPSU Congress opens; Gorbachev re-elected CP leader (10); Vladimir Ivashko elected deputy leader (11); Boris Yeltsin resigns from CP to form rival party (12); Congress closes (13).
16 Republic of Ukraine declares intention to become sovereign and neutral state; Byelorussia does likewise (27).
26 In protest over election bill, nationalists impose rail blockade in Georgia; Moscow imposes similar blockade (31).
27 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania refuse to attend further talks on new union treaty.
1 Georgian rail blockade lifted after government promises multiparty elections.
1-2 After US-USSR foreign minister talks in Siberia, Eduard Shevardnadze announces the Soviet decision to cease production of rail-mounted ICBM from January 1991.
23 Armenian parliament declares itself a self-governing republic.
24 Republic of Tajikistan declares sovereignty.
7 Shevardnadze says USSR is willing to negotiate with Japan over Kurile islands dispute.
13 Gorbachev presents Soviet parliaments with 500-day economic reform plan.
13 West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher and Soviet counterpart sign 20-year co-operation agreement.
18 Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal visits USSR, talks with Gorbachev, agrees to restore diplomatic relations after 52-year break.
26 Supreme Soviet approves a law granting freedom of religion.
24 Supreme Soviet grants Gorbachev powers to rule by decree for next 18 months.
30 USSR and South Korea establish diplomatic relations.
2 Lithuanian leaders begin preliminary independence talks with Kremlin officials.
8 KGB seize Greenpeace ship near Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya; ship released and sails for Norway (19); USSR explodes nuclear device at Novaya Zcmlya (24).
9 Soviet parliament grants all parties equal status before law, setting legal basis for multiparty system.
15 Gorbachev wins Nobel Peace Prize.
16 In Ukraine, student demonstrators demand resignation of government; premier Vitaly Masol resigns (17).
16 Gorbachev unveils compromise economic plan; Grigori Yavlinsky, co-author of 500-day plan, resigns from Russian parliament (17); Supreme Soviet adopts compromise economic plan (19).
24 Russian and Ukrainian parliaments declare Supreme Soviet laws have no precedence in their republics.
26 Moldovan parliament imposes state of emergency in Turkish-speaking districts; troops sent to prevent clashes between ethnic Turks and Romanians (28); nationalists block border posts on Romanian frontier (31).
27 Coal miners form first independent trade union in USSR and threaten to strike unless work conditions improve.
28 Anti-communist coalition, Free Georgia Round Table, wins Georgian elections.
1 500-day economic plan begins; Soviet parliament holds emergency debate on state of the nation (16-17).
4 Moldovan parliament demands vigilantes disband within 24 hours after weekend violence.
11 Gorbachev and Yeltsin meet in Moscow, agree to establish two joint commissions to solve differences between Moscow and Russian Republic.
14 Georgian government resigns, parliament elects non-communist president, demands independence.
15 Leningrad city council votes to begin food rationing on 1 December for first time since 1945.
19 Russian and Ukrainian republics sign co-operation agreement in Kiev; Russian parliament opens 10-day session on food crisis (27).
22 Gorbachev produces draft union treaty; parliament approves increased powers to deal with economic-governmental crisis (23).
27 Defence Minister, Marshal Dimitri Yazov, announces new law and order powers for army.
2 Interior Minister and Chief of Police, Vadim Bakatin, replaced by Boris Pugo; Supreme Soviet approves political amendments to constitution and grants Gorbachev sweeping presidential powers (4); Shevardnadze warns of dictatorship and resigns (20); Gennadi Yanayev elected as Vice President (27); Gorbachev given direct control of cabinet, KGB and leaders of republics (25).
3 Parliament supports outline draft union treaty; union treaty postponed (12); Gorbachev calls for popular referendum on question of maintaining a federal structure (17).
9 Georgian CP splits from central party; abolishes autonomous region, South Ossetia (11).
12 Kirghizia declares its sovereignty.
13-16 Roh Tae Woo makes first South Korean presidential visit to USSR.
18 Moldovan deputies quit Congress of People’s Deputies; Moldova agrees to review declaration of sovereignty (30).
18 3 bombs explode in Latvian capital.
1 Romanian President Ion Ilicscu announces political and economic reforms; proposed national referendum on banning CP is cancelled (17); National Salvation Front decide to participate in general elections (23); Vice-President Dumitru Mazilu resigns from government (26); government supporters ransack opposition party headquarters during demonstrations in Bucharest (29).
8 Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu begins 10-day European tour in West Germany where he announces $1.21 -bn aid package for eastern Europe (9); also visits Belgium (10); France (11); UK (12); Italy (13); Poland (14-15) and Hungary (16-17).
9 In Bulgaria, former CP General-Secretary Todor Zhivkov arrested.
12 Bulgarian nationalists end opposition to restoration of Muslim cultural rights; political reform talks between government and opposition begin (22); opposition reject offer to join coalition government (30).
22 In Yugoslavia, extraordinary CP Congress abolishes one-party rule; ethnic Albanians in Kosovo province begin demonstrations against Serbian rule (24); federal leaders begin talks with Kosovo government officials (30).
22 Speaking to Central Committee, Albanian President Ramiz Alia proposes limited political reforms, including multiparty elections.
28 East German general election advanced to March and interim caretaker government formed; former president Honecker arrested (29).
29 At special party congress, Polish CP dissolves itself and reforms as Social Democracy of Republic of Poland; speaking to Council of Europe, Polish premier Tadeusz Mazowiecki demands Polish frontier guarantees after German unification (30).
1 In Yugoslavia, government troops sent to quell ethnic violence in Kosovo province; state of emergency imposed (20) and curfew (21).
1 Interim Romanian government enlarged to include representatives from 30 other parties; government headquarters briefly seized by anti-government protesters (18); Defence Minister Victor Stanulescu announces replacement of Securitate by army unit (21).
1 East German premier Hans Modrow outlines 4-step plan for unified neutral Germany; Kohl rejects German neutrality; first round of monetary union talks between GDR and FRG begin in Berlin (20).
1 Bulgarian communist government resigns; Alexander Lilov replaces Petar Mladenov as party leader (2); Andrei Lukanov elected PM after resignation of Georgi Atanasov (3); all-communist interim government formed after opposition refuse to join (8).
5 8 non-communist ministers join East Germany’s caretaker government.
9 Czechoslovakia and Poland (27) restore full diplomatic relations with Israel.
1 First talks between Albanians and Serbians to solve Kosovo dispute begin in Yugoslavia.
2 Trials of 21 Securitate leaders begin in Romania; state of emergency imposed in Tirgu Mures, Transylvania after Romanian-Hungarian ethnic violence (21).
8 West German Bundestag passes resolution unconditionally guaranteeing inviolability of Polish borders; at Two-plus-Four procedural talks it is agreed Poland can participate in discussions on its borders (14).
12 Soviet troops begin withdrawal from Hungary; Democratic Forum wins first round of general elections with 24% of vote (25).
18 Alliance for Germany coalition wins East German election with 48% of vote.
2 East Germany’s Social Democratic Party leader, Ibrahim Bohm, resigns over links with Stasi secret police; first non-communist government led by Lothar de Maiziere sworn in (12).
8 First free elections since World War II are held in Slovenia; free elections in Croatia are first in over 50 years (22).
8 Democratic Forum opens coalition talks with Alliance of Free Democrats after failing to secure majority in Hungarian elections.
16 4 centrist parties in Romania form alliance to back Ion Ratiu’s presidential bid; anti-government rallies begin in Bucharest (22).
2 Hungarian parliament elects Arpad Goncz interim president; Jozsef Antall appointed premier (3); reveals plan to leave Warsaw Pact (22).
5 At first round of Two-plus-Four talks in Bonn, decision on military status of unified Germany postponed; the GDR and FRG sign monetary union plan (18).
9 Albanian government permits foreign travel and religious practice; both were banned in 1944.
20 Ion Iliescu elected Romanian President after ruling National Salvation Front (composed of former communists) win general election.
6-7 COCOM meeting in Paris substantially reduces curbs on technology exports to eastern Europe.
7 Warsaw Pact leaders meeting proposes fundamental changes to organization and establishment of NATO-WP committees; NATO foreign ministers meeting outlines acceleration of NATO-WP co-operation (7-8).
10 Civic Forum wins Czechoslovakian general election, but without an absolute majority; President Havel swears in coalition government (27).
13 Soldiers fire on anti-government demonstrators in Bucharest; miners attack anti-government protesters (14); Ion Iliescu inaugurated Romanian president (20).
18 Bulgarian CP, renamed Socialist Party, wins general election.
22 Second round of Two-plus-Four foreign ministers meetings begin.
25 EC leaders summit agree to inter-governmental conference on political union to begin December.
29 In London, 93 countries agree to halt production of ozone-destroying chemicals by the year 2000.
1 German monetary union takes effect; pan-German elections called for 2 December (3); Gorbachev agrees to unified Germany in NATO at USSR-West German meeting (16); German-Polish border issue settled at Two-plus-Four talks(16-17).
2 In Yugoslavia, Kosovo declares independence; Serbia dissolves Kosovo parliament (5); Kosovo’s president resigns (10).
5 Albanian government issues visas to 6,000 refugees in Western embassies.
5 Vaclav Havel re-elected Czech President for 2-year term.
5-6 NATO summit in London declares formal end to Cold War and invites Gorbachev to address future summits.
6 Bulgarian President Mladenov resigns; first freely-elected parliament opens (10).
25 UK cabinet approves ‘Options for Change’ defence cuts package.
30 USSR and Albania agree to resume bilateral ties.
31 Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia begin 2-day ‘Pentagonale’ summit to discuss regional security.
1 Bulgarian parliament elects Zhelyu Zhelev first non-communist president; provisional government, led by Andrei Lukanov, resigns (7).
3 Hungarian parliament elects Arpad Goncz, member of the opposition Alliance of Free Democrats, as president.
19 In East Germany, SPD politicians withdraw from coalition government.
19 In Yugoslavia, Serbian separatists hold referendum for more autonomy in Croatian Republic.
31 West German and East German representatives sign German unification treaty.
12 Two-plus-Four Treaty on German unification signed in Moscow; East and West German parliaments ratify treaty (20).
16 UK premier Margaret Thatcher starts 7-day European tour in Czechoslovakia; also visits Hungary (18) and Switzerland (19-20).
20 Bulgarian parliament reappoints Andrei Lukanov as premier.
27 Britain and Iran resume diplomatic relations after 18-month break.
28 Serbian parliament adopts constitution removing provincial autonomy in Kosovo.
1 Yugoslavian parliament meets for 3-day session to discuss federal/confederal solutions to national crisis.
3 East and West Germany formally unite as the Federal Republic of Germany.
7 Austrian Socialist Party wins election; Chancellor Franz Vranitzky requested to form government (9).
8 UK joins European exchange-rate mechanism (ERM).
22 EC foreign ministers agree to lift all diplomatic and commercial sanctions on. China.
27-28 EC summit held in Rome; agreement reached that second phase of European Monetary Union will begin by 1 January 1994.
1 Romanians protest in Bucharest against price controls and devaluation; Romanian parliament grants emergency economic powers to premier Petre Roman (13); protest spreads countrywide, demanding government resignations (15).
7 World Climate Conference ends in Geneva with agreement signed by ministers from 135 countries on global warming.
9-10 Gorbachev and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl sign 20-year friendship treaty in Bonn; Germany signs frontier treaty with Poland (13).
17 Independent Hungary applies for membership of Council of Europe.
20 At CSCE summit in Paris, Warsaw Pact countries announce dissolution of military elements of the alliance.
22 UK premier Margaret Thatcher resigns, replaced by John Major (27).
26 First general strike begins in Bulgaria; government resigns after demonstrations (29).
2 Helmut Kohl becomes premier as CDU wins united German elections; de Maiziere resigns as Minister Without Portfolio over Stasi links (17).
5 Yugoslavian nationalist parties win elections in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Slobodan Milosevic wins Serbian presidential elections (9); Croatian parliament adopts constitution granting right to secede (21); Slovenia votes for independence (23); Milosevic’s Socialist Party wins parliamentary elections (25); federal leaders confer to solve economic/political crisis (27).
9 Lech Walesa wins Polish presidential elections; parliament accepts resignation of PM Mazowiecki (14); Jan Bielecki replaces him (29).
14-15 EC Rome summit agrees to provide £178m of food aid to USSR.
9 Student protests for political reform begin in Albania; CP sacks Politburo members (11); Democratic Party of Albania, first opposition party, founded (12); protests spread to Shkoder and Elbasan where tanks deployed (13-14); government recognizes Democratic Party of Albania.
16 In Romania, protestors call for second revolution and governmental resignations; government begins coalition talks to defuse tension (17).
2 In Latvia, Soviet troops surround newspaper building in Riga; Latvians barricade main streets as Soviet troops open fire (14); Soviet troops seize Interior Ministry (20); Gorbachev meets Latvian leader Anatolijs Gorbunovs (22); Gorbunovs recommends referendum on independence (23).
4-5 At meeting in Moscow COMECON agrees to dissolve.
7 Moscow orders paratroopers into Baltic states to enforce draft; Moldovans revoke laws punishing deserters and draft-dodgers (12).
8 Soviet troops surround Lithuanian parliament (9); impose curfew in Vilnius (13); Lithuanian Foreign Minister flees with authorization to form exile government (11); troops seize national security department and radio station (12, 14); Gorbachev disclaims responsibility for attack (14).
9 Georgia refuses to withdraw police and armed forces from South Ossetia; Georgian police storm Ossete barricades in Tskhinvali (13).
21 Gorbachev summons 15-republic meeting on Baltic crisis (21); paratroopers and two-thirds of troops withdraw from Baltic (30).
4 Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Kazakhstan begin talks; republics pledge to press ahead with own referenda (6).
5 Gorbachev declares Lithuanian independence referendum invalid; majority vote for independence (9); Lithuanian parliament declares independence (12).
25 Georgian President Gamsakhurdia proposes talks to end ethnic conflict.
3 Ukrainian miners stage 24-hour strike; strikes spread to west Siberia (11-12); then to Urals (19); miners reject call to return to work (24).
4 Soviet Parliament ratifies German reunification treaty.
4 In local referendums Latvia and Estonia vote in favour of secession.
6 In union-wide referendum, eight out of 15 republics, including Russia, vote in favour of preserving the country as renewed federation.
10 Demonstrations in Russian Republic call for Gorbachev’s resignation; Soviet government bans rallies in Moscow from 26 March to 15 April as Interior Ministry takes over law enforcement in capital (26).
1 Georgians back independence in referendum; Georgia declares independence. (9).
3 Gorbachev offers coalminers doubling of wages to end strike; miners reject offer (10); Yeltsin and Gorbachev announce strike agreement (24); Yeltsin visits Siberia and persuades miners to return to work (29-30).
4 Russian parliament gives Yeltsin emergency powers to run republic.
23 Central Committee backs Gorbachev’s economic rescue package.
1 Yeltsin places mines under Russian control; Donbass miners end 9-week strike (3).
1 Fighting breaks out on Armenian/Azerbaijani border; Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders begin talks (3); talks break down (8).
15 CCP General Secretary Jiang Zemin begins 5-day visit to Moscow, Foreign Ministers Bessmertnykh and Qian Qichen sign border agreement (16).
20 Russian Parliament votes for free foreign travel and emigration.
24 Armed forces destroy Lithuanian guard post on Latvian border; 4 other border checkpoints burned down (25); 3 Baltic leaders meet in Lithuania to discuss border attacks by Soviet troops (30).
3 Soviet troops surround parliament, railway station, airport and Interior Ministry buildings in Vilnius; protestors converge on parliamentary buildings (4); Gorbachev rebuffs Lithuanian leader’s call to renounce force and begin independence negotiations (5); Soviet troops seize telephone exchange (26).
9 Troops burn border post between Latvia and Russian Federation; break into customs post in Riga and confiscate documents (17).
12 Boris Yeltsin wins Russian presidential elections.
14 Soviet and Azeri troops attack 3 Armenian villages on northern border of Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan.
20 Yeltsin bans CP activity in Russian workplaces.
24 Gorbachev and 10 republics agree on new union treaty.
30-31 At summit in Moscow attended by Yeltsin and Kazakh President Nazarbayev, Bush promises MFN status if USSR carries out reforms.
1 Lithuania temporarily withdraws armed police from Border posts; government takes charge of CP headquarters (23); ends conscription of Lithuanians (28).
19 Gorbachev ousted in coup; Boris Yeltsin opposes coup plotters (20); coup collapses and Gorbachev returns to Moscow from Crimea (22); Gorbachev resigns as General Secretary of CP and announces confiscation of Party property (24); committee of radical reformers announced as interim government (25); 13 charged with coup attempt; Boris Pankin replaces Bessmertnykh as foreign minister (28); government dismissed and KGB ruling body disbanded (28); Supreme Soviet votes to suspend all CP activities (29).
20 Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Belorussia and Ukraine (25) Azerbaijan (30) Uzbekistan and Kirgizia (31) declare independence.
29 Russia and Ukraine form economic alliance; Russia signs economic cooperation agreement with Kazakhstan (30).
1 Baltic republics apply for membership of UN (3); Gorbachev and 10 Republican leaders recognize Baltic independence (6).
2 6 shot dead by police in Georgia; demonstrations mounted in Tbilisi (3); Gamsakhurdia’s resignation demanded (5); supporters rally to his defence (12); he agrees to emergency session of parliament to discuss new elections as opponents seize TV station; state of emergency declared (24).
3 Boris Yeltsin announces all Soviet nuclear weapons stationed in republics to be moved to Russia.
8 Ayaz Mutalibov wins Azerbaijani presidential elections; Azeris clash with Armenians near Nagorno-Karabakh (16).
9 Tadzhikistan declares independence; crowds defy state of emergency when ban lifted on CP (24); state of emergency cancelled (30).
11 Gorbachev says USSR will withdraw 11,000 military personnel from Cuba.
1 Georgian president Gamsakhurdia gives opponents 2 days to disarm; government and rebel troops fight outside capital (5).
1 At meeting in Khazakhstan 12 republics sign common market plan; 11 republics agree to maintain unified army (9); Ukraine refuses to sign economic pact (17); 12 republics agree to pay national debt (29).
9 Soviet Union establishes diplomatic ties with Estonia and Lithuania; with Latvia (15); Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania join CSCE (15).
9 Jokhar Dudayev stages successful coup in Russian autonomous region of Chechen-Ingushetia; wins disputed elections as President (27).
11 Soviet State Council dissolves KGB.
22 Ukraine authorizes creation of own army; parliament accepts central control of nuclear arms on its territory (24); votes to close Chernobyl plant (29).
27 Turkmenistan declares independence.
4 Ukraine establishes own national guard; parliament agrees to sign inter-republic economic treaty (6).
8 Yeltsin imposes state of emergency in Chechen-Ingushetia and sends troops; troops forced to retreat (10); Russian parliament rescinds emergency (11).
18 G-7 resumes talks with Soviet republics over debt repayments; agrees to 1-year deferral of debt repayments (21).
19 Eduard Shevardnadze replaces Boris Pankin as Soviet Foreign Minister.
25 Russia, Belorussia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kirghizia refuse to sign new confederal treaty.
26 Azerbaijani parliament votes to seize control of Nagorno-Karabakh; Armenia and Azerbaijan agree to resume peace talks in Moscow (27).
1 Leonid Kravchuk wins Ukrainian presidential elections; proposes Ukraine, Russia, Belorussia and Kazakhstan place nuclear weapons under collective control (2); Ukraine and Russia agree all tactical nuclear weapons deployed in Ukraine will be moved to Russia (19).
2 Nursultan Nazarbayev wins Kazakh presidential election.
8 Russia, Ukraine and Belorussia declare USSR ceases to exist and establish Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); Armenia and Kyrgyzstan agree to join CIS (11); Central Asian Republics agree to join (13); Norway recognizes Russian independence (16); 11 republics sign CIS treaty in Alma-Alta (21); EC recognizes Russia (25); US establishes diplomatic relations with Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; Germany recognizes Russia and Ukraine (26); UK and EC recognize Ukraine (31).
10 In Nagorno-Karabakh 7 killed during independence referendum; state of emergency introduced in Armenia (16).
18 Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Ukraine agree to uphold all arms-control agreements; Gorbachev hands control of nuclear weapons to Russia (25).
22 In Georgia, street battles break out in Tbilisi; opponents of President Gamsakhurdia attack parliament with rockets (23); rebels storm Tbilisi prison and release opposition leaders (27); cease-fire agreed (28); troops oust rebels from parliament, retake main square (29); fighting continues (30).
25 Gorbachev resigns as president.
United States and Canada
7 Secretary of Defense Cheney cancels Navy’s A-l2 ‘stealth’ bomber.
12 US Congress authorizes use of military force against Iraq.
4 Bush submits general FY 1992 budget proposal of $1.45 trillion.
14 130-nation meeting on global warming ends in Virginia, agrees to reduce carbon monoxide levels, aid developing nations which forgo use of polluting fuels.
23 Bush announces beginning of ground offensive in Kuwait; tells nation Kuwait is liberated (27).
6 Bush declares Gulf War over.
20 Bush announces at start of President Lech Walesa’s week-long visit that US will forgive at least $33bn of Polish debt.
10 Bush cancels military and economic aid to Jordan.
12 Cheney announces plan to close 31 major military bases in the US.
17 Congress passes proposed $1.45 trillion budget resolution.
28 G-7 finance ministers meet in Washington, agree medium-term strategy to promote world growth.
6 US suspends $5m aid to Yugoslavia.
21 US House of Representatives rejects proposed military budget for FY 1992; approves own defence bill (22).
6 Gen. Robert RisCassi announces US plans to turn over combined ground forces command in S. Korea to a Korean general.
11 Bush approves $1.5bn in agricultural credit guarantees to USSR.
2 S. Korean President Rob Tae-Woo visits US, says N. Korean nuclear development is East Asia’s most serious security problem.
30 Pentagon announces plans to cut third of 1,600 overseas bases by 1996.
17 Canada announces intention to close 2 German air-bases and reduce troops in Europe from 6,600 to 1,100 by 1995.
17 46th UN General Assembly accepts memberships of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North and South Korea, Micronesia and Marshall Islands.
26 Bush resumes $21-m aid programme to Jordan.
1 Bush announces $400-m loan guarantees for USSR.
20 Bush authorizes $1.5-bn grain credits to USSR.
25 US Senate approves transfer of up to $500m from defence budget to help dismantle Soviet nuclear weapons.
3 In New York Boutros Ghali of Egypt sworn in as UN Secretary-General; UN repeals 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism (16).
2 Greek Premier Mitsotakis declares state of emergency on border following Albanian exodus; asserts Greek Albanians are free to cross border (14),
4 Polish parliament approves Jan Krzysztof Bielecki as premier.
9 Yugoslav army ordered to disarm paramilitary groups countrywide; 6 republics begin talks on federation’s future (10); Croatian Serbs begin disarming (16); Yugoslav army demands disbandment of Croatian forces and goes on alert (23); Croatian leader, Franjo Tudjman, agrees to demobilize police reserves if Yugoslav army ends combat alert (27); Yugoslav army orders arrest of Martin Spegelj, Croatian defence minister (30).
4 Croatia refuses to take part in further federal talks (13); Slovenian parliament adopts constitutional amendments severing links with federal government (20); Croatia invalidates all federal laws within its territory (21).
6 EC grants £100-m loan to Syria; France, Germany and Italy submit defence proposals; £710m aid given to sub-Saharan Africa (12).
9 Riots in Durres as Albanians flee country; factory workers join student protest in Tirana (11); students and teachers begin hunger strike as troops surround university (18); President Ramiz Alia takes over all powers (20); armed battle erupts outside military academy (22); army tanks withdrawn from government buildings in Tirana after 3-days of violence (25).
22 European ministers agree on WEU as central vehicle for European defence.
27 Polish and Czech defence ministers sign military cooperation pacts.
3 Krajina announces secession from Croatia; heavy fighting in Belgrade (9-11); Yugoslav presidency holds emergency meeting (12); federal president Borisav Jovic resigns, but later rescinds (15, 20); Serbian president Milosevic leaves multi-republic presidency (16); Milosevic orders mobilization of security forces in Serbia as Montenegro and Vojvodina withdraw from presidency (17-18); Yugoslav army pledges non-interference in politics (19); anti-government demonstrations in Belgrade (27).
6 Albanian refugees converge on Italian port of Brindisi and Albanian port of Vlore; Italy imposes naval blockade (8); Italy forces refugees to sail home (10); US resumes diplomatic relations with Albania (15).
11 Czechoslovakian separatist demonstrations take place in Bratislava; President Vaclav Havel visits NATO (21).
14 Erich Honecker, former East German leader, flees to Soviet Union.
1 Krajina announces intention to join Serbia; federal presidency holds emergency meeting over imminent military takeover in Croatia (3); Slovenia announces secession from federation (11); army moves into Croatian villages (28); talks fail to agree formula to end ethnic conflict (29).
1 Albanian ruling CP wins legislative elections; army fires on anti-Communist demonstrators in Shkoder (2); general strike called by democratic opposition (4); Ramiz Alia renamed President (30).
25 NATO meets with ex-Warsaw Pact members in Prague.
2 Clash in Borovo, Croatia results in 12 deaths; army seals off area (3); demands emergency powers as federal government orders police in Croatia to disarm (8); army granted emergency powers (9); nationalists refuse to disarm (10); federal presidency fails to agree replacement for ex-president Stipe Mesic (15); Croatia votes for independence in referendum (19); announces formation of separate army (29).
14 Poland restores diplomatic relations with South Africa.
28 NATO defence ministers agree establishment of RRC in 2-day meeting.
29 UK restores diplomatic relations with Albania after 50-year rift.
2 Albanian parliament dissolved; government resigns (4); Ylli Bufi named premier (5); 3-week general strike disbanded (7); coalition government instated (12); EC restores relations with Albania (21); US Secretary of State, James Baker, makes 1-day visit to Tirana (22).
6-7 NATO foreign ministers meet in Copenhagen discuss European defence.
19 Last Soviet soldier leaves Hungary.
19 CSCE foreign ministers begin 2-day conference in Berlin, accept Albanian membership.
25 Croatia and Slovenia adopt declaration of independence; troops put on alert in Slovenia (26); ethnic Albanian students demonstrate in Kosovo (27); cease-fire agreed between premier Ante Makovic and Slovenia, and Croat Stipe Mesic elected head of state (31).
30 Last Soviet troops leave Czechoslovakia.
8 Yugoslavian factions agree EC-sponsored cease-fire; Slovenian parliament accepts peace plan (10); state presidency accepts plan (13); Cease-fire breaks down (14); army shells Croatian village as EC monitors arrive (15); peace talks in Brioni fail as fighting continues (16); Slovenia cuts power supplies to 5 army bases (17); summit of feuding leaders agrees new peace pact (22); talks collapse and fighting intensifies (23); EC agrees to send monitoring mission to Croatia if all parties agree to cease-fire (29); Croatian leader, Stipe Mesic, rejects federal presidency proposal to establish peace plan commission (30).
15-17 Gorbachev attends G-7 summit in London; G-7 recommends special status for USSR in IMF and World Bank.
4 Yugoslav federal presidency proclaims new cease-fire (4); Serbian separatists bomb Croatian villages (7); CSCE begins 2-day meeting to end fighting (8); federal presidency holds emergency session to prop up fragile Croatian truce (13); Zagreb bombed (19); Serbs assault Croatian town of Vukovar (26-28); Croatian and federal army agree new cease-fire (27).
8 Italy declares state of emergency as 1,300 Albanian refugees besiege coast near Bari; Rome begins forced repatriation (9); Italy increases emergency food aid to Albania (12).
20 EC suspends economic aid to Soviet Union due to coup; recognizes Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as independent states (27).
26 Denmark resumes diplomatic relations with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania; as does Germany (28); and Finland (29).
29 Speaking in US, UK premier John Major announces accelerated 6-point package to USSR, including IMF and World Bank help.
29 Romania and Moldova establish diplomatic relations.
1 Yugoslavian EC-backed peace plan signed by 6 republics; Serbs and federal army seal off Slovenia (4); 150 EC monitors arrive in Zagreb (5); EC-sponsored peace conference reconvenes in Hague (7); Macedonia votes to become independent (8); Croatia orders overnight curfew as fighting spreads southwards (9); Croats capture 20 federal army barracks (15); new cease-fire agreement signed (17); fighting in Croatia and on Adriatic coast continues (18); new cease-fire agreed (22); UN imposes arms embargo on all factions (25); EC agrees to double number of cease-fire monitors as fresh army columns sent to Croatia (30).
17 Albania signs Paris Charter of CSCE.
25 Fighting between Romanian security forces and miners break out; Premier Petre Roman and government resign (27-28).
1 Yugoslavian army launches new offensive against Croatia; attack Dubrovnik from air, sea and land (2): federal troops attack Zagreb (7); Croats sign new cease-fire, Slovenia and Croatia sever all ties with federation (8); Serbian president Milosevic and Croatian counterpart Tudjman call for immediate cease-fire, state will begin peace negotiations within 1 month in Moscow (15); Bosnia-Herzegovina declares its independence (15); Soviet-brokered truce collapses (16); federal army assaults Dubrovnik (23); federal presidency boycotts EC Hague peace talks (25); federal army advances on Dubrovnik, EC threatens sanctions against Serbia (28); federal president Stipe Mesic joins attempt to break naval blockade of Dubrovnik (29); flotilla fails as shelling continues (30).
2 USSR foreign minister arrives in Czechoslovakia to sign bilateral treaty; Czechoslovakia and Germany sign cooperation treaty (7).
7 EC finance ministers pledge one third of £4.2-bn credit to USSR for food and medicines; France and Germany propose European army (15); EC and EFTA agree 19-nation European Economic Area (EEA) (22).
7 Bulgaria and Greece sign cooperation treaty.
30 Two-day conference of 28 European states agrees need to halt illegal immigration from East Europe.
4 Serbia rejects EC ultimatum as Vukovar bombed; federal army pounds Dubrovnik (6-7); air force intensifies bombing in Croatia (7); EC-brokered peace talks held (13); Serbs capture Vukovar (18); at French-backed talks both sides agree to demilitarization of Dubrovnik (19); 14th cease-fire agreed (23); Croatia agrees to deployment of UN peace-keepers (25); Serbia agrees (28); federal army begins withdrawal from Zagreb (29).
7 In Rome NATO leaders agree new European defence organization built around WEU, agree to establish NACC (8).
22 EC agrees free trade with Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
26 Poland joins Council of Europe.
2 In Yugoslavia EC lifts economic sanctions on Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia; federal navy lifts blockade (3); Germany cuts off transport links with Serbia and Montenegro (4); federal army withdrawn from Zagreb (10); Ukraine recognizes Croatian and Slovenian independence (12); UN Security Council votes to send peace-keepers (15); new fighting breaks out in Croatia (20); Germany recognizes Croatian and Slovenian independence (23); fighting continues in Croatia (25-26); 12 UN monitors arrive in Zagreb (26); Karlovac and Osijek shelled (26-29).
5 Polish premier Jan Krzysztof and government resign; replaced by Jan Olszewski (6); centre-right coalition collapses (12); Olszewski resigns (17); parliament rejects resignation (18); he establishes new government (23).
8 Romanians approve new constitution; US Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, visits (8-10).
9 At 2-day EC finance meeting in Maastricht agree single currency by 1999; Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia sign association accords with EC (16).
United States and Canada
22-23 40 donor governments meet in Washington to coordinate aid to former USSR republics; President Bush announces proposed $600m increase.
23 US Secretary of State James Baker announces two-week emergency food airlift to USSR beginning 10 February.
29 Bush announces FY 1993 defence budget of $291bn, ending production of B-2 bomber, Seawolf submarine and sea-based missiles.
30 Bush announces plans to close 83 military installations in Europe.
1 Bush holds talks with Russian president, Boris Yeltsin.
11 Bush announces cessation of production of ozone-destroying chemicals by end of 1995.
25 Canada announces it will withdraw its troops from Europe by 1994.
26 US Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, announces plans to reduce National Guard and reserves by 250,000 before end of 1997.
1 Bush offers $600m in humanitarian/technical aid and S1.1bn in loan guarantees to the former Soviet Union for grain purchases; Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger certifies to Congress that Russia, Ukraine and Belarus are eligible to receive $400m in aid for dismantling nuclear weapons and retaining scientists (28).
19 Bush tightens 30-year economic Cuban blockade by barring cruisers or cargo ships from visiting Cuba.
26 At Washington meeting, G-7 nations agree to $6bn rouble stabilization fund for Russia.
22 US Defense Department announces the closure or reduction of 61 European and two South Korean bases.
28 US announces future publication of provisional list of more than $1bn-worth of EC goods subject to protective tariffs.
3 US House of Representatives voles to cut troops abroad to 228,000 by end of 1995 and the defence budget by $3.5bn.
4 Senate approves legislation to tighten Cuban sanctions.
6-8 Bush hosts three-day meeting with UK Prime Minister John Major at Camp David.
15 US Supreme Court condones abducting foreigners for trial.
16 Caspar Weinberger, ex-Secretary of Defense, indicted on criminal charges in Iran-Contra affair.
16 Bush and Yeltsin begin two-day Washington summit; sign agreement calling for creation of Euro-Atlantic peacekeeping force (17).
2 Bush announces completion of withdrawal of all ground and naval tactical nuclear weapons from outside the US.
5 US and Russia conduct first joint naval exercise in Barents Sea.
13 Bush announces cessation of plutonium production.
5 US army announces that in 1993 it will withdraw 115 units, totalling 11,900 troops, from Germany.
12 Canada, Mexico and US conclude agreement on formation of North American Free Trade Area.
13 Bush moves US Secretary of State Baker to White House to run election campaign; Eagleburger named Acting Secretary of State.
1 US agrees to buy from Russia at least 10 tons of weapons-grade uranium per year for five years, and 30 tons thereafter, for conversion for use in nuclear power stations; US offers Russia $1.l5bn in loan guarantees and other assistance for food (14); Senate approves a link of aid to troop withdrawals from the Baltic, and the $12bn Bush requested as IMF contribution (24).
14 Senate and House of Representatives votes to link renewal of China’s MFN status with human rights progress.
20 Senate favours US armed forces cuts in Europe to 100,000 by September 1996, but not to go below 150,000 until 1995, and authorizes $274bn defence bill (FY 1993).
24 Senate Appropriations Committee approves $14.3bn foreign aid starting October 1992, including $l0bn housing loan guarantees for Israel.
30 US closes base in Søndre Strømfjord in Greenland and returns Subic Bay naval base to Philippines.
1 US Senate fails to overturn Bush’s veto on imposing conditions on renewal of China’s MFN status.
4 Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton elected 42nd President of the US.
5 Bush sends letter to Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk offering political and economic aid and $175m for dismantling nuclear warheads if Ukraine agrees to become nuclear weapons-free state.
10 President-elect Clinton names Lloyd Bentsen as Secretary of Treasury; Les Aspin as Secretary of Defense and Warren Christopher as Secretary of State (22).
14 Bush authorizes US companies to open offices in Vietnam.
17 Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas sign NAFTA.
25 Bush pardons ex-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger and five other Reagan aides involved in Iran-Contra scandal.
1 In Georgia, fighting resumes in Tbilisi; rebels overthrow President Zviad Gamsakhurdia and set up military council (2); he flees (6); clashes ensue in Idzhevan (8); supporters of Gamsakhurdia agree truce (21); government troops take Tskhinvali (22) and seize Poti (28).
1 Ukraine frees prices; cuts military communication links with Russia (8).
3 Russia abolishes state-set prices; compromise solution on Black Sea Fleet agreed at talks between Ukraine and Russia (13); 12 former officials charged with conspiring to seize power in August coup (14); Russia announces end of nuclear targeting of US (26); and of UK (30).
3 In the former Yugoslavia, federal army and Croatian leaders begin cease-fire; Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina declare independence (9); Vatican recognizes Croatia and Slovenia (13); EC follows suit (15); cease-fire violated in Osijek and Slavonia (18-19); Macedonia votes to withdraw representatives from federal parliament (22).
16 In Estonia, state of emergency imposed; Estonian Prime Minister Edgar Savisaar resigns.
19 President Zhelyu Zhelev wins final round of Bulgarian presidential election.
19 South Ossetia votes for independence from Georgia.
20 Finland and Russia sign trade and friendship pact.
30 10 former Soviet republics (Armenia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan) join CSCE.
2 In Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenians open new attack; Azeri armed forces launch effort to recapture lost ground as Azeri and Armenian leaders agree to talks (3); following Moscow peace talks Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers call for cease-fire (20); Azeris seize munitions from Russian camp near Agdam (24); Azeri rockets pound capital, Stepanakert, and Armenian forces seize Azeri town, Khojaly (26).
3 EC lifts sanctions against Croatia; Croatian president, Franjo Tudjman, allows deployment of UN peacekeepers (6); Serbia and Montenegro agree plan to create new Yugoslavia following secession of Croatia and Slovenia (13); Krajina’s president, Milan Babic, accepts use of UN peacekeepers (17); UN Security Council votes to dispatch 14,000 peacekeepers for 12 months (21).
3 Foreign ministers of Black Sea Economic Cooperation Zone (Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova) meet in Turkey.
5 Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, visits France; signs friendship pact (7).
9 US Secretary of State Baker leaves for 10-day tour of Russia and Central Asia; announces $14m to found science centre to employ scientists who worked on Soviet nuclear programmes (17).
14 11 leaders of CIS meet in Minsk.
27 Germany and Czechoslovakia sign friendship treaty.
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina votes for independence in referendum; Serbs march on Sarajevo as President Alija Izetbegovic declares independence (3); EC and US agree to coordinate Yugoslav policy (10); Muslims, Serbs and Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina resume EC talks (16); advance UN teams start move into Croatia to prepare for peacekeeping troops (16); at EC talks Bosnian warring factions agree to separation of territory into ethnic regions (17); Bosnian Muslims call for UN protection as Serbs proclaim own constitution (28); three Bosnian factions resume EC talks in Brussels (29-30).
2 Eight former Soviet republics (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) join UN.
2 Violence flares in Moldova between ethnic Russians and Romanian majority; Moldovans seize weapons from Ukrainian barracks in Dniestr region (3); Russian minority granted until 17 March to surrender weapons (15); Slav minority declare state of emergency in Dniestr region (16); Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk orders deployment of forces on Moldovan border (17); Moldovan President Mircea Snegur declares state of emergency and curfew (28); fighting continues in Koshnitsa as Dniestr and Russian Cossacks attack (30); Ukrainian, Russian, Romanian and Moldovan foreign ministers meet to resolve conflict (30-31).
2 Last CIS soldiers withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh; Azeris demand resignation of their president, Mutalibov (5); he resigns (6); Azeris attack Stepanakert, capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, as Armenians counter-attack Shusha, whilst at meeting of the 35-nation North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC) in Brussels they agree jointly to solve conflict (10); Armenian and Azeri foreign ministers sign draft peace accord in Tehran (15); fighting continues in Lachin and Shusha in Azerbaijan (16); UN special envoy, Cyrus Vance, arrives in Azerbaijan on peace mission (17); Armenia declares state of emergency (18); both sides agree to representation at CSCE-sponsored peace talks (24); Azeris bomb Stepanakert (29-30); Iran announces ceasefire extension of two weeks (27).
5-6 Baltic Council (Norway, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Sweden) established in Copenhagen,
10 Ten CIS republics join NACC.
10 In Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze appointed as transitional prime minister; Georgian armed forces loyal to Zviad Gamsakhurdia, deposed Georgian president, agree withdrawal from Mingrelia region (17); EC establishes diplomatic relations with Georgia (23); US follows suit (24).
12 Ukrainian President Kravchuk suspends nuclear weapons transfer to Russia; parliament approves withdrawal from rouble zone and establishment of own customs (24).
18 Russia announces willingness to renegotiate status of Chechnya; Tatarstan votes in favour of self-rule (21); 18 republics, excluding Tatarstan and Chechnya, sign federal treaty in Moscow (31).
18 Parliament in Belarus votes to establish own armed forces.
27 Russia and 13 former USSR republics join IMF.
1 At NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels, former Warsaw Pact members and NATO agree to undertake joint training and manoeuvres.
1 Moldovan troops launch attack in Dniestr region during two-day peace talks with Russia, Ukraine and Romania; at foreign ministers’ meeting between Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Romania cease-fire agreed (6); cease-fire begins as President Mircea Snegur announces request for Ukrainian troops to enforce it (7); fighting erupts again (18).
1 Clashes ensue between Georgian forces and former President Gamsakhurdia’s forces; diplomatic relations established with Germany (13).
2 Lithuania and Belarus conclude bilateral cooperation treaty.
3 Cease-fire broken in Croatia; EC recognizes Bosnia-Herzegovina (7); Serb leaders declare independent Bosnian republic and Yugoslav jets launch rocket attacks (7); US recognizes Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and UN Security Council approves peacekeepers’ deployment (7); Bosnian government orders consolidation of local militias into fledgling army as Serbs bombard Sarajevo (8); Bosnian warring factions agree cease-fire following two days of EC-sponsored talks (12); fighting re-erupts in Bosnia-Herzegovina (13); Serbs bombard Sarajevo (21-22); new Yugoslavia declared by Serbia and Montenegro (27); Serb-Bosnian talks to negotiate army withdrawal begin (26).
3 Albanian President Ramiz Alia resigns; parliament elects Sali Berisha as President (9).
7 Russia and Ukraine both claim jurisdiction over Black Sea Fleet; suspend claims (9); agree to continue Black Sea Fleet talks in Odessa (30).
7 Yeltsin announces Russia will take control of all former USSR forces in East Europe, Baltic and Transcaucasia; parliament approves federation treaty (10); parliament places three-month limit on Yeltsin’s emergency powers (11); government lenders resignation (13); Yeltsin averts crisis by gaining extension of direct governmental control (14); G-7 nations approve $24bn aid to Russia (26).
9 In Ukraine, parliament refuses to hand over nuclear weapons to Russia; Foreign Minister, Anatoli Zlenko, announces resumption of weapons transfers to Russia for destruction (14); Crimea recognized as autonomous republic (22).
9 Conservative Party wins UK parliamentary elections wilt John Major as prime minister.
17 Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland establish free-trade zone with EC.
23 Germany and Russia sign agreement recreating autonomous Volga German republic; Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher announces resignation (27); Free Democratic Party (FDP) elect Klaus Kinkel to replace him (28).
1 In Yugoslavia fighting erupts in Sarajevo; Yugoslavia rejects responsibility for Serbian forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina as cease-fire is announced (5); Sarajevo fighting resumes (7); EC announces withdrawal of Belgrade-based ambassadors in protest (11); Serb leaders declare five-day unilateral ceasefire as US withdraws ambassadors from Belgrade (12); Security Council adopts resolution to continue peace efforts (15); UN peacekeepers leave Sarajevo (17); three-week cease-fire announced (18); Serbia refuses to withdraw from eastern Croatia (21); Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina join UN (22); EC agrees trade embargo against Serbia (26); UN approves sanctions against Serbia (30).
3 EC and EFTA nations sign European Economic Area (EEA) agreement.
3 Azeri forces capture heights near Stepanakert in Nagorno-Karabakh; peace talks resume in Iran (6); cease-fire agreed (7); Armenians take Shusha as fighting continues (9); Mutalibov, reinstated as Azeri president, declares state of emergency (14); Azeri nationalist opposition (APF) seizes control of strategic points in Baku (15); after two days of fighting Armenia opens land corridor to Nagorno-Karabakh (18); Abulfaz Elchibey announces Azerbaijan first republic to leave the CIS (20).
5 Crimea declares independence from Ukraine; Ukraine completes transfer of tactical nuclear weapons to Russia as Crimea rescinds decision (6); Ukrainian parliament annuls independence declaration (13).
7 Yeltsin signs decree creating Russian army.
11 Moldova refuses to attend CIS summit in Tashkent; fighting in Dniestr region resumes (18); Moldovan president Snegur accuses Russia of aggression (20); Yeltsin announces Russian army withdrawal (27).
15 At CIS Tashkent summit, Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan sign collective security agreement.
22 Poland and Russia sign friendship pact during Polish President Lech Walesa’s visit to Moscow and agree withdrawal of remaining former Soviet Union troops by 15 November 1992.
22 France and Germany announce agreement to form 35,000 joint European Army Corps.
26 UK Prime Minister John Major begins four-day tour of Central Europe in Poland; visits Czechoslovakia (27-28); and Hungary (29).
27 Two-day NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels approves NATO peacekeeping role under CSCE.
1 Albania signs friendship treaty with Turkey, ending 500-year impasse.1 In Yugoslavia fighting continues in Sarajevo; Serbs attack UN-escorted aid convoy near Sarajevo (2); UN Security Council agrees to send 1,100 troops to Sarajevo (8); Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina sign military alliance against Serbia (17); EC-brokered peace talks resume in Strasbourg (25); French President Mitterrand visits Sarajevo (28); UN takes over Sarajevo airport as Serbs withdraw (29); Radovan Karadzic, leader of Bosnian Serbs, announces unilateral cease-fire (30).
1 Russian Defence Minister General Pavel Grachev announces foreign intervention in neighbouring states seen as military threat; troops complete withdrawal from Chechnia (8); Yeltsin appoints Egor Gaidar as acting prime minister (15).
6 In Czechoslovak election, Movement for a Democratic Slovakia wins in Slovakia and Civic Democratic Party in Czech Republic; President Vaclav Havel appoints Vaclav Klaus to form new federal government (7); Slovak Civic Democratic Party leader Vladimir Meciar and Klaus agree lo prepare for nation lo split (20); Meciar becomes Slovakian prime minister (24); federal government resigns (26).
10 In Georgia fighting for South Ossetia breaks out again; Shevardnadze signs South Ossetian peace accord with Yeltsin (24); armed forces bombard South Ossetia (28).
20 Estonia adopts own currency; and new constitution (28).
21 After two-day battle, Moldovans capture Bendery; cease-fire declared (22); Moldovan forces use air power in Dniestr region for first time (23); at Black Sea economic summit, Russia, Romania and Moldova agree indefinite cease-fire in Dniestr region (25); Russian army downs Moldovan plane, breaking cease-fire (26); Moldovan government resigns (30).
30 Ukrainian parliament grants Crimea wide-ranging autonomy.
1 In Yugoslavia first French unit joins UN peacekeepers in Sarajevo; US starts relief flights to Sarajevo (3); Bosnian Croat leaders proclaim independent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina (4); WEU and NATO launch joint naval operation in Adriatic enforcing UN sanctions (10); UN lifts 71-day siege in Dobrinja (12); Milan Panic elected Yugoslav prime minister (14); Macedonian government resigns (16); Bosnian warring factions sign cease-fire and agree to place weapons under UN supervision during 14-day cease-fire, beginning 19 July (17); Sarajevo fighting continues (19); EC negotiator Lord Carrington announces will negotiate no more Bosnian cease-fires as UN convoy delivering aid stopped by Serbs (23); convoy abandons efforts (26); Serb Bosnian parliament announces separate Serb state (26).
1 Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel names new federal government with Jan Stasky as prime minister; Havel fails to win first round of presidential elections (3); Slovakia declares sovereignty (17); Havel resigns (20); Czech Prime Minister Klaus and Slovakian counterpart Meciar agree on division of country (23).
5 IMF announces $1bn loan to Russia.
6 At CIS summit in Moscow presidents of 10 republics agree to create joint peacekeeping force for deployment in Moldova; Moldova and Russia sign peace pact and agree to send joint military force to Dniestr region (21); fighting continues in Dniestr region (22); peacekeeping forces move into area (20).
14 Russia and Georgia deploy peacekeeping troops to South Ossetia.
29 Turkey signs defence cooperation agreement with Albania.
1 In Yugoslavia, Franjo Tudjman wins Croatian presidential election; US confirms existence of Serbian detention camps (3); UN demands Red Cross inspection and suspends aid flights for three days (4); Russia recognizes Macedonia (5); federal Prime Minister, Milan Panic, announces closure of all Serbian prison camps in Bosnia-Herzegovina (7); Red Cross accuses all three ethnic groups of violating Geneva Convention (13); Brussels peace conference collapses (14); UN mine-clearers rescue relief convoy trapped in eastern Bosnia (16); UN suspends aid flights to Sarajevo over threats and Karadzic signs agreement placing weapons under UN control (18); aid flights resume (20); UN investigation team refused entry into Serbian prison camp (22); Lord Carrington resigns as head of EC peace effort (25); Lord Owen replaces him (27).
3 In Yalta, Yeltsin and Kravchuk agree to postpone decision on Black Sea Fleet for three years.
4 In Georgia, Shevardnadze lifts state of emergency in Tbilisi; fighting ensues in Abkhazian capital Sukhumi (14); cease-fire negotiated and broken (15); government troops recapture Sukhumi (18); government and rebels agree to end military operations (29).
4 On two-day visit to Bulgaria, Yeltsin signs friendship treaty.
9 Lev Petrossian, Armenian president, appeals for CIS aid; Azeri fighters bomb Stepanakert (18); Armenia and Azerbaijan agree cease-fire beginning 1 September (27).
26 Slovak leader Meciar and Czech counterpart Klaus agree to division of Czechoslovakia from 1 January 1993.
1 Slovak parliament approves draft constitution; Slovak Prime Minister Meciar signs new constitution (3).
1 Nagorno-Karabakh cease-fire announced; fighting begins again in east (18-20).
2 NATO agrees to provide 6,000 troops to support UN aid deliveries in Bosnia-Herzegovina; missile hits Italian aid aircraft near Sarajevo and UN suspends aid flights (3); Croatian government and Serbian-held region of Krajina in eastern Croatia agree economic cooperation (9); UN Security Council votes to send 6,000 troops (14); UN refuses assignment of Yugoslavian seat to rump Yugoslav state (19); Greek government announces lifting of oil embargo on Macedonia (22); Croatian and Bosnian presidents announce defensive cooperation (23).
3 At talks in Moscow, Georgian leader Shevardnadze, Yeltsin and Abkhazian counterpart Vladislav Ardzinba agree cease-fire; fighting breaks out again (5); talks reconvene in Sukhumi (6); new cease-fire agreed (9); 30 soldiers killed in landmine explosion in Abkhazia (10).
4 In Bulgaria, former president, Todor Zhivkov. sentenced to seven years imprisonment for misappropriation of state property and embezzlement.
8 Russia agrees withdrawal of 20,000 troops from Lithuania by August 1993; Lithuania announces establishment of own currency (23).
23 President Kravchuk of Ukraine claims to have control of nuclear weapons on his territory.
27 Russia imposes 60-day state of emergency in republic of Kabardino-Balkaria after demonstrations demanding release of Confederation of Caucasian Mountain Peoples’ leader Moussa Shanibov.
1 Serb authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina release 500 Muslim prisoners; UN resumes airlift (3); UN Security Council votes for preparation of evidence for war criminal trials (6); UN imposes ban on military flights over Bosnia-Herzegovina (9); federal Prime Minister, Milan Panic, calls for Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s resignation and elections (13); NATO orders AWAC fleet to monitor ‘no-fly’ zone (15); Serb police seize control of federal interior ministry (19); leaders of Bosnian and Croat Serb territories meet to form ‘Union of Serbian States’ (31).
2 In Georgia, Abkhazian separatists take town of Gagra; Georgia demands Russian troops leave territory as Georgian plane shot down by Russians (5); Abkhazians and north Caucasian forces rout Georgian troops; Shevardnadze wins legislative elections (11); Russia dispatches warship to region (13).
2 NATO formally activates 12-nation Rapid Reaction Corps; defence ministers agree to draw up plans for peacekeeping operations in Europe with former Warsaw Pact (20).
11 Czech and Slovak prime ministers agree to establish separate currencies by mid-1993; agree customs union from 1 January 1993 (26); at London talks Hungary and Czechoslovakia agree four-point plan settling Gabcikovo dam dispute (28).
12 In Russia Yeltsin signs cooperation treaty with Azeri President Elchibey; last of ex-Soviet army troops withdraw from Poland (28); Yeltsin signs order for temporary halt to withdrawal from Baltic (29).
20 Russia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan agree to abide by quotas on uranium shipments to US.
27-28 In London, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland hold first summit with EC, agree to consult on foreign policy.
1 In Germany repatriation of illegal Romanian immigrants begins; massive anti-Right demonstration held in Berlin and other cities (8); former East German leader Erich Honecker goes on trial (12); National Front banned (27).
1 Russia deploys troops between North Ossetian and Ingush fighters, ceasefire agreed; Russia declares state of emergency in both regions (2); Chechnia protests at Russian troop deployment and threatens retaliation (10); Russia and Chechnia sign agreement to withdraw troops from border area (15).
9 Russian President Yeltsin visits UK and signs friendship treaty; Russian Constitutional Court upholds the ban of the Communist Party (30).
15 In Lithuania Democratic Labour Party wins second round of legislative elections; Algirdas Brazauskas re-elected as head of state (25).
16 UN Security Council votes for naval blockade of Adriatic to enforce embargo against Serbia (16); NATO forces begin blockade (22).
17 Czech and Slovak republican parliaments authorize split from 1 January 1993; Czech and Slovak delegations agree to split federal army (23); federal parliament agrees separation (25).
2 At two-day emergency meeting in Jeddah, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) calls for UN use of force against Serbia and lifting of arms embargo against Bosnia; fighting intensifies in Sarajevo as Serbs seize main road linking capital and airport (8); Sarajevo airport reopens (9); Security Council orders peacekeepers to Macedonia (11); Slobodan Milosevic wins Serbian presidential elections (20); federal parliament passes no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Milan Panic and Radoje Kontic replaces him (29).
3 Albania becomes member of OIC; applies for NATO membership (16).
9 Russian parliament rejects Egor Gaidar as prime minister; Yeltsin calls for referendum on the principles of the new constitution; parliament bans referendum (11); Yeltsin proposes Viktor Chernomyrdin as prime minister and parliament approves (14).
17 Manfred Wörner reappointed head of NATO; NATO and former Warsaw Pact countries agree establishment of joint peacekeeping monitors in Europe (18); NATO approves Franco-German corps (22).
17 Azerbaijan president Abulfaz Elchibey declares state of emergency (17); withdraws from peace negotiations (18).
21 Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia establish regional trade zone.
Key events in the Soviet Union’s disintegration at home and retreat abroad, 1985-1991.
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, 54, named general secretary of the Communist party, following the death of Konstantin Chernenko.
Eduard Shevardnadze, who favours reform, succeeds hard-line veteran Andrei Gromyko as foreign minister
Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan meet in Geneva for the first U.S.-Soviet summit since 1979.
Gorbachev denounces “years of stagnation” of former president Leonid Brezhnev and calls for a major overhaul of the country’s centralized economy
Andrei Sakharov, father of the dissident movement and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, released after seven years of internal exile in Gorky.
Gorbachev and Reagan meet in Washington to sign the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty cutting Soviet and U.S. intermediate-range missiles.
Reagan visits Moscow, praises Gorbachev’s glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) initiatives.
Gorbachev is appointed president and promises to free all political prisoners.
Gorbachev announces unilateral cuts in Soviet conventional forces and withdrawal of 250,000 troops from Eastern Europe.
Withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan completed.
Sakharov and other reformers elected to new Soviet parliament. Gorbachev ousts several hardliners from Politburo.
Gorbachev elected president of new Soviet parliament.
Popular revolutions sweep away communist regimes in East Germany and later in other countries in Eastern Europe. Berlin Wall that divided East and West since 1961 dismantled
At summit in Malta, Gorbachev and President Bush hail the end of the Cold War
Communist party surrenders its constitutionally guaranteed monopoly on power. Parliament agrees to give Gorbachev an executive presidency.
Lithuania declares independence. Moscow imposes economic blockade. Estonia takes steps toward independence.
Latvian parliament declares independence.
Conservatives demand action to stop country’s disintegration. Shevardnadze resigns as foreign minister in protest against “looming dictatorship.”
Gorbachev says he is a dedicated communist and accuses hard-line radicals of trying to seize power through force.
Warsaw Pact disbanded.
Gorbachev attends summit of leading industrial nations in London. In Moscow, Gorbachev and Bush sign treaty to reduce intercontinental nuclear weapons.
Alexander Yakovlev, one of the chief architects of Gorbachev’s reforms, resigns as a top aide and quits the Communist party, warning that it plans a coup.
Hardline communist officials declare a state of emergency and announce they are replacing Gorbachev as president to prevent “a national catastrophe.”
Coup collapses; Gorbachev issues edict barring communist cells from all military and government organizations.
Boris Yeltsin elected president by the Russian people.
Communist party rule ends and reforms to institutionalize democracy and capitalism announced.
Yeltsin and Gorbachev, hoping to prevent the union from dissolving as other republics declare their independence, agree to establish a transitional confederation in place of the old Soviet Union.
Ukraine holds referendum, votes for independence, and begins to print its own money and form its own army.
Except for Russia and Kazakhstan, all thirteen of the former Soviet republics proclaim their independence.
Desperate Mikhail Gorbachev warns that “disintegration is fraught with inter-republican clashes, even wars.”
Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia declare the USSR “dead” as a subject of international law, and sign treaty establishing a new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) with the capital in Minsk.
Russian parliament approves Boris Yeltsin’s plan to terminate the USSR and replace it with the Commonwealth of Independent States, which would include most of the former republics; Gorbachev, without a country to head, offers to resign, pledges to recognize the CIS.
Conflict erupts between Russia and nationalities of the former Soviet Union. The Independent States build up their armies as concern mounts about the command and control of nuclear weapons.