Two Russian MPs question legality of Baltics, Soviet Union split (5)
Two MPs from United Russia, Vladimir Putin's party, have asked the nation's state prosecutor if the Baltic nations' split from the Soviet Union in 1991 had any legal basis.
The pair have asked the Prosecutor General if the establishment of the USSR State Council in 1991 was legal. The council officially recognized the independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
According to the MPs, the council damaged the sovereignty of a nation and caused it to break up, and the creation of the council was unconstitutional. The move, the two MPs say, disrupted economic ties with the Baltics and constituted a serious crime equaling treason.
The council was set up in the fall of 1991 to oversee the transition of the Soviet Union. The council, which had no Baltic representative, but included the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin, decided to allow the Baltic states to depart the union in its first sitting. A few months later the council dissolved the Soviet Union.
The council played no part in the legality of Estonian independence from Estonia's own point of view, as Estonian independence was restored, not created in 1991.
It is not the first legal case the two have brought up, attempting to get Gorbachev tried for breaking up the union.