THE ALMA-ATA DECLARATION
Signed by eleven heads of state on December 21, 1991.
The independent states:
The Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkmenistan, the Republic of Ukraine and the Republic of Uzbekistan;
seeking to build democratic law-governed states, the relations between which will develop on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for state sovereignty and sovereign equality, the inalienable right to self-determination, principles of equality and noninterference in the internal affairs, the rejection of the use of force, the threat of force and economic and any other methods of pressure, a peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for human rights and freedoms, including the rights of national minorities, a conscientious fulfillment of commitments and other generally recognized principles and standards of international law;
recognizing and respecting each other's territorial integrity and the inviolability of the existing borders;
believing that the strengthening of the relations of friendship, good neighborliness and mutually advantageous co- operation, which has deep historic roots, meets the basic interests of nations and promotes the cause of peace and security;
being aware of their responsibility for the preservation of civilian peace and inter-ethnic accord;
being loyal to the objectives and principles of the agreement on the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States;
are making the following statement:
Co-operation between members of the Commonwealth will be carried out in accordance with the principle of equality through coordinating institutions formed on a parity basis and operating in the way established by the agreements between members of the Commonwealth, which is neither a state, nor a super-state structure.
In order to ensure international strategic stability and security, allied command of the military-strategic forces and a single control over nuclear weapons will be preserved, the sides will respect each other's desire to attain the status of a non- nuclear and (or) neutral state.
The Commonwealth of Independent States is open, with the agreement of all its participants, to the states--members of the former USSR, as well as other states--sharing the goals and principles of the Commonwealth.
The allegiance to co-operation in the formation and development of the common economic space, and all-European and Eurasian markets, is being confirmed.
With the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States the USSR ceases to exist. Member states of the Commonwealth guarantee, in accordance with their constitutional procedures, the fulfillment of international obligations, stemming from the treaties and agreements of the former USSR.
Member states of the Commonwealth pledge to observe strictly the principles of this declaration.