The incredible howl of opponents of the amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation proposed by the President and already adopted by the State Duma and the Federation Council, which subsided somewhat during the period of the coronovirus pandemic, is intensifying again every day.
When, four months ago, I wrote the article “The BBC and BBCists Stood Up for the 1993 Constitution,” the vanguard of opponents of these amendments in the person of the leading media outlets of the West was already obvious. The crowd of backup dancers was also clear.
Since then, it is difficult to find at least one western or pro-west media outlet or at least one pro-west blogger who would not trample on this topic with an obvious desire to trample it into the ferocious mud.
The concerted and unbridled onslaught on constitutional amendments indicates that it is precisely this step that our President has hit the globalists and their fifth column in the most painful and vulnerable place. And therefore, we will try to understand the danger of certain articles for our geopolitical opponents.
I would like to start with the proposed inclusion in the Constitution of Article 67.1, which is little talked about:
1. The Russian Federation is the successor of the USSR on its territory, as well as the successor (legal successor) of the USSR in relation to membership in international organisations, their bodies, participation in international treaties, as well as in relation to obligations and assets of the USSR stipulated by international treaties outside the territory of the Russian Federation.
2. The Russian Federation, united by a 1000-year history, preserving the memory of the ancestors who gave us ideals and faith in God, as well as continuity in the development of the Russian State, recognises the historical state unity.
3. The Russian Federation honours the memory of the defenders of the Motherland and defends historical truth. Belittling the significance of the feat of the people in the defence of the Motherland is not allowed.
4. Children are the most important priority of Russian state policy. The state shall create conditions conducive to the comprehensive spiritual, moral, intellectual, and physical development of children, as well as the education in them of patriotism, citizenship, and respect for their elders. The state shall, by giving priority to family upbringing, assume the responsibilities of parents in respect of children left without care.”
In addition to the anti-juvenile priority of family education, which is by no means accidentally spelled out in this article, there is a very large and very dangerous geopolitical bomb.
It lies in the fact that Russia, for the first time since 1917, proclaimed its centuries-old continuity.
Everyone knows how the Bolsheviks “renounced the old world”, behind which there was a millennial history of Russia, and the desire of part of Russian society to renounce all Soviet things is also known, crossing out the 70-year period of the history of the USSR. Those who would like to start the entire history of Russia with the collapse of the USSR are also very active in the information field. However, they have problems with legitimacy.
Even the grieving date for many – June 12th 1990, Russia’s proclamation of its sovereignty – takes on a different meaning after the adoption of this amendment. This meaning will be consolidated on July 1st 2020.
Because on July 1st 2020, in all these renunciations it is proposed to have closure and recognise that we live in a country with a great 1000-year history, that we are the successors of the great Russian princes and commanders, sailors and discoverers, Marshals Zhukov, Konev, and Vasilevsky, Aleksey Meresyev and Yury Gagarin, and academicians Vavilov, Kurchatov, and Korolev. That we remember and honour our kinship.
The significance of this amendment goes far beyond the historical memory and continuity of generations as the basis for the education of Russian youth.
The emergence of this new article in the Russian Constitution is of direct economic and geopolitical importance.
What is it?
First of all, it expands the borders of the succession of the Russian Federation from the USSR. Russia initially recognised its succession from the USSR. The Law on International Treaties of the Russian Federation (Article 3) states that it applies to treaties in which Russia participates as a successor to the USSR.
Russia continued the membership of the USSR in the Security Council as the same subject of international law, which changed its name, and from which some parts separated.
On December 24th 1991 an official message of the President of the Russian Federation was sent to the UN Secretary General, in which, with reference to the above-mentioned decision of the Council of Heads of State of the CIS, it was reported that the USSR continued membership in the UN by the Russian Federation.
The UN Secretary-General sent the text of the message to all UN members and, referring to the opinion of the legal department of the UN Secretariat, suggested that this appeal is of a notifying nature, stating the reality, and does not require formal approval from the UN.
All permanent members of the Security Council and other leading countries have indicated their agreement with this approach. Thus, from December 24th 1991, the Russian Federation continued the membership of the USSR in the UN, including membership in the Security Council.
On 23.12.1991 the twelve members of the EU in Brussels and the Hague signed the “Declaration of Twelve” “On the future status of Russia and other former republics”, in which they took into consideration that the rights and obligations of the former USSR “will continue to be carried out by Russia”.
Such a “continuation” is referred to in international law as “continuity”.
On December 21st 1991, by the decision of the Council of Heads of State of the CIS, the Russian Federation was recognised as entitled to continuity from the USSR, as well as to accept Soviet membership in the UN and permanent membership in the Security Council. The United Nations Secretariat circulated this decision to all UN members and no objections were raised.
On January 31st 1992, during a meeting of the UN Security Council with the participation of heads of state and government, the membership of the Russian Federation in this organisation was finally committed to paper. Moreover, UN membership passed to Russia on December 24th 1991, i.e., at the time the Soviet Union ceased to exist.
An innovation in the Constitution of the Russian Federation expands this concept:
“The Russian Federation is the successor of the USSR on its territory, as well as the successor of the USSR in relation to membership in international organisations, their bodies, participation in international treaties, as well as in relation to obligations and assets of the USSR stipulated by international treaties outside the territory of the Russian Federation.”
As we can see, here we have added text that our non-brothers sincerely do not want to see in the Basic Law of Russia – text about succession to the obligations and assets of the USSR outside of Russia.
Indeed, at one time, Russia assumed all the debts of the USSR in exchange for the tacit consent of the former fraternal republics not to lay claim to the property of the USSR abroad. And these are huge assets in the form of real estate worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
In August 2017, the Ministry of Finance of Russia announced that our country had repaid the last foreign debt of the former USSR, paying $125.2 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2007, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Sergey Storchak, in an interview with “Rossiyskaya Gazeta”, said that by the end of 1991 the state foreign debt of the Union amounted to $96,600,000. In different sources there are even larger numbers – up to $140 billion. Official Russian departments do not provide data for that period – the first data of the Central Bank dates back to 1994. Back then, taking into account interest, the liabilities amounted to $104,507,000.
Initially, the plan was similar: in October 1991, 12 former Union republics (all except Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) signed a Memorandum of Understanding, in which they declared joint responsibility for the debt of the former USSR. The obligations were distributed in proportion to the economic strength of the republics at the time of the collapse of the Union – Russia as the successor to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic got a share of 61.34% of the debt, and, for example, Kyrgyzstan – only 0.95%, and Tajikistan – even less: 0.82%. In the same proportion, the assets of the former Union – both on its territory and abroad – were to be divided.
However, on April 2nd 1993 the Russian government announced that it had assumed all obligations of the former Soviet republics to repay the USSR’s external debt in return for their relinquishment of their share in the USSR’s foreign assets. The deal was called the “zero option”. So Russia got all the external debt in the amount of $96.6 billion. This amount included loans from other countries and commercial obligations to members of the London Club, as well as holders of VEB bonds and domestic government foreign currency loan bonds. In addition, the country agreed to pay the debts of the tsarist government, which the Soviet government ignored.
Then, also as part of the succession to USSR obligations, Russia signed an agreement in 1999 within the framework of the Paris Club (in which Russia was not only a debtor but also a creditor) to cancel more than half of the debt of the poorest African countries. Thus, Russia abandoned its claim to the assets of Tanzania, Benin, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Guinea, Chad, Yemen, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, and Sierra Leone.
This “zero option” suited all former Union republics as long as Russia repaid their external debts. However, in 2014, the Maidan government of Ukraine created an inter-departmental group to study the possibility of defending the interests of the Ukrainian state in courts to resolve the issue of succession of foreign debt and assets of the former USSR. Thus, Kiev intended to “conduct an inventory of everything that may belong to Ukraine”.
At the time of signing the agreement, Ukraine’s debt was $6.8 billion, and in 2014 the amount grew to $20 billion, which the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded Kiev about.
“If the Ukrainian side returns to the problem of the ‘zero option’, the Russian side reserves the right to insist on immediate compensation by Ukraine to the Russian Federation of the mentioned $20 billion of the debt of the former USSR,” the Foreign Ministry noted at the time.
Therefore, the amendment to the Constitution of the Russian Federation is designed to close all issues of current brothers and non-brothers who are greedy for free benefits.
But paying off the debts of the Russian Empire simultaneously with the reference in the Constitution to “continuity in the development of the Russian state” opens up very interesting opportunities.
As is known, the Bolsheviks refused to fulfil allied obligations and almost all the treaties of the former governments of the country. On February 3rd 1918 the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee on the cancellation of all state internal and external loans of the tsarist and Provisional Governments was adopted.
On the basis of a decree signed by Y. M. Sverdlov, the commitments made by the “governments of Russian landowners and the Russian bourgeoisie”, totalling about 60 billion rubles (16 billion rubles in external debt and 44 billion rubles in domestic debt), were canceled retroactively, from December 1st 1917.
In the future, individual obligations were settled by bilateral agreements.
So, on August 18th 1924 a General Agreement between the USSR and Great Britain was concluded. It named 17 treaties concluded with the United Kingdom of the Russian Empire that were recognised by both parties as having no legal force (Article 2), and Articles 3 and 4 indicated bilateral and multilateral treaties concluded by the Russian Empire and Great Britain that were recognised as still in force.
The agreement of the USSR and Great Britain from July 15th 1986 entailed the payment of compensation to the British holders of bonds in the amount of 1.6% of the value of securities.
In 1997, six years after the collapse of the USSR, Boris Yeltsin signed an agreement with the French authorities on the final settlement of disputes over Russian bonds, also about 1% of the amount requested.
The Russian Federation paid $400 million in favor of the government of the French Republic – as partial compensation to the holders of pre-revolutionary Russian securities.
All of these payments, recognised by international creditors as legitimate, give Russia reason to talk about its succession not only in relation to the USSR, but also in relation to the Russian Empire.
This horror is terrible for our geopolitical opponents.
According to the calculations of Professor Vladlen Sirotkin, after the Bolshevik coup, in different countries colossal property was abandoned and then captured by hunters to someone else’s good. We are talking about property and cash deposits worth at least $400 billion in 112 countries of the world.
In the 1990s, Professor Sirotkin and his colleagues addressed memos to all Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers, but to no avail. On one of the notes, for example, the first Yeltsin Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrey Kozyrev imposed an instruction: “It’s pointless. Professor Sirotkin quarrels with the west.” As is said, no comment.
But not only foreign real estate of the Russian Empire and Russian gold in foreign banks disturb the west. The succession of the Russian Federation to the Russian Empire deprives western slanderers of many arguments in their Russophobic hysteria, since it questions the very fact of their existence.
Let’s look at the map of the Russian Empire in 1914:
In front of us – the Russian Empire, the area of which in 1913 was 19155587.7 square versts (without Finland – 18869545.9 square versts). This includes only land, not counting the inland seas. Since 1 square verst = 1.13806224km², we get the area of the Empire in the amount of 22,255,805.18km².
As of May 1st 1924, the territory of the USSR was 20,890,600km². The loss of area is 1,365,205.7km².
Today, the area of the Russian Federation is 17,125,000km², which is 76% of the former Soviet Union.
At the same time, those countries that were once part of the Russian Empire – Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, and now also Ukraine – on various occasions and under various pretexts regularly put forward various kinds of material claims against Russia for tens and hundreds of billions of dollars.
So, we take the most obvious question: how legitimate was the formation in 1917-1920 of all these “Russia sufferers”?
The question of the legitimacy of their formation depends directly and immediately on the legitimacy of the Provisional Government, which recognised such separation in most cases.
The legitimacy of the Provisional Government directly and immediately depends on whether there is in reality such a document that the press massively published under the title “Manifesto of Nicholas II on Abdication”. For more than a hundred years, such a document could not be found.
Therefore, the Provisional Government is a bunch of impostors who were engaged in the destruction of the Russian Empire:
- The Provisional Government issued a special manifesto on Finland on 7th (20th) March 1917.
- On March 30th 1917, the Provisional Government of Prince Lvov recognised the right of Poland to self-determination.
- The fall of the monarchy and the creation of the Provisional Government in Kiev was officially announced on March 1st 1917 (i.e., before the official date of “abdication”). On March 3rd 1917 the organisation of the Ukrainian Central Rada took place in Kiev. On June 10th 1917, the Central Rada issued its First Universal, which proclaimed the autonomy of Ukraine.
There was no legitimate separation of the territory of the current Baltic states from the Russian Empire, nor were there these states themselves. The Treaty of Nystad from 1721 is part of the corpus of international legal acts that the legitimacy of the territories of many states of the world is based on. Under this agreement, Russia forever received these territories not only as a winner in the Northern War, but as a result of their purchase.
By the beginning of World War I, the Baltic region had three provinces:
- Livonia (47027.7 km²; approx. 1.3 million people as of 1897)
- Estland (20246.7 km²)
- Courland (29715 km², about 600,000 people)
On March 30th 1917, the Provisional Government of Russia adopted the provision “On the Autonomy of Estland”, according to which 5 of the 9 uyezds of Livonia (24178.2 km², or 51.4% of the area, with 546,000 people, or 42% of the population), as well as part of the Valka uyezd (before the partition: more than 6,000km² with 120,600 people), moved away. After this transfer of land, the territory of Estland grew 2.5 times, amounting to 44424.9km².
In September 1917, in the Riga occupied by German troops, Latvian political parties formed a coalition – the Democratic Bloc (Demokrātiskais bloks). In early December, Latvian national organisations formed the Latvian Provisional National Council in Valka (Latvian. Latviešu Pagaidu nacionālā padome), who on December 2, 1917 adopted the wording on the self-determination of Latvia.
Thus, the proud Baltic limitrophes were created by the efforts of the self-styled Provisional Government and the occupation German authorities.
And now let us recall the existence of such an important international document as the Versailles (Paris) peace treaty, which was concluded on June 28th 1919.
I wrote about the feints used to exclude Russia from the list of victorious countries in the First World War in the article “How the victory was stolen from Russia”.
However, the Versailles Peace Treaty contains a number of provisions whose importance will increase dramatically after July 1st 2020:
“Article 116. Germany recognises and undertakes to respect, as permanent and inalienable, the independence of all territories that were part of the former Russian Empire by August 1st 1914.
In accordance with the resolutions included in articles 259 and 292 of parts IX (Financial Regulations) and X (Economic Regulations) of this Agreement, Germany finally recognises the abolition of the Brest-Litovsk treaties, as well as any other treaties, agreements, or conventions concluded by it with the Maximalist Government in Russia.
The Allied and United Powers formally stipulate the rights of Russia to receive from Germany all restitution and reparations based on the principles of this Treaty.”
When writing this article, the allies were confident in the final collapse of the Russian Empire…
What will Mrs. Merkel, who actively supports all Baltic limitrophes, tell us when she is shown this article? Her only argument so far, until July 1st 2020, remains the lack of succession between the Russian Federation and the Russian Empire.
I hope that it is clear to everyone why the German media are among the most ardent opponents of the presidential amendments to the Constitution of the Russian Federation?
By the way, anti-juvenile paragraph 4 in this article is also an indicator of the succession of the Russian Federation from the Russian Empire, since in the Russian Empire parental rights were inalienable.
It is clear that after July 1st 2020 Russia will not demand the return of all the territories of the Russian Empire to it. Succession from the Russian Empire is also a succession in relation to the principles of its formation, when tribes and peoples voluntarily came under the protection of Russian tsars, thereby saving themselves from complete extermination.
However, such a succession will deprive all our non-brothers of any chance of making any claims and pretensions against Russia.
So we focus not on their loud barking and howling, but on our own fundamental interests. We vote for amendments to the Russian Constitution.
It is important to remind you of this today.