24 September 1992

Doc. 6680


on the withdrawal of the ex-Soviet troops

presented by Mr SÄRKIJÄRVI and others

The Assembly,

1.       Considers that the continuing presence of ex-Soviet troops in the now independent republics without the consent of the latter constitutes a potentially dangerous situation that may easily erupt into gross violence;

2.       Recognises that the legal position of these troops is very weak until agreements on them have been reached between Russia and the respective host countries;

3.       Chooses to refer to the military units left in the republics of former USSR as "ex-Soviet troops" while not considering them to be "occupation forces (or troops)" since they do not have the right to operate on foreign soil outside their bases;

4.       Acknowledges with appreciation the assurance of the Russian Government to fulfil all international obligations of the former Soviet Union, of which taking responsibility for the ex-Soviet troops is one;

5.       Understands the economic hardship which the construction of new bases for these units causes to Russia under the current tight economic conditions and recommends that a portion of Western aid to Russia be channelled to easing this problem. On the other hand, the new European security situation should also allow for net reductions in these troops;

6.       Notes that the situation of the families of military personnel has deteriorated as neither the legislation of the host country nor that of Russia necessarily grants them the same health, social and educational services as previously, especially as they are not permanent residents of the host country;

7.       Deplores the incidents where ammunition, arms and military vehicles from these bases have been employed in acts of violence with or without the consent of these troops, especially when the Russian military command has been forced to admit that it does not have the control of all its troops and stresses the importance of preventing such incidents in the future;

8.       Specifically emphasises that the troops have no right to take any action in the host country even if Russian nationals or citizens are in jeopardy and in advance confirms that it will not accept this as an excuse;

9.       Points out that under the circumstances these troops cannot have real significance either for the security of Russia or for the training of the Russian army;

10.       Recalls that sending new conscripts to these units without the approval of the host country is in conflict with the principles of international law, may entice the use of force by the host country and should be discontinued;

11.       Observes that in some cases the property used by the Soviet military was originally taken over without due compensation, which opens questions concerning restitution of the property, the right to collect rent and compensation for possible damages, both private and public, which should be solved as part of the agreement on force withdrawal;

12.       Asks the host countries to refrain from undertaking military or police operations against the bases of these troops as this might lead to bloodshed, even if the bases may be practically deserted;

13.       Proposes that the Russian Ministry of Defence explicitly order these troops to honour the legislation of the host country and to accept its jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases involving the personnel of these troops. This also includes the right to carry out police investigations in the bases;

14.       Calls on the importance of rapidly reaching an agreement between Russia and each host country on the withdrawal of ex-Soviet troops;

15.       Proposes that the Russian parliament define its position on the above-mentioned topics, especially on the timetable of the withdrawal;

16.       Renders its good offices available to the parties concerned.