The Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Then and Now

Former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk still believes deeply in the power of international norms to maintain peace.

“Today’s world is based on great principles: sovereignty, territorial integrity, and untouchable borders. And as far as I understand the situation, the United States is the guardian of these principles,” said Kravchuk at an event on November 18, in response to a question about US President-elect Donald Trump’s possible plans to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“If the nations of the world ever for a second assume that the world powers, and first of all the United States, are going to sacrifice the interest of one nation for other interests, it’s going to be the end of the world order,” he said. He hastened to add, however, that he would not judge Trump’s comments until he becomes president on January 20.

Kravchuk was speaking at the Atlantic Council together with former Belarusian President Stanislau Shushkevich and former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Gennady Burbulis. The three men discussed the dissolution of the Soviet Union twenty-five years ago, their roles in that momentous event, and the ensuing challenges in the region.

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Image: Former Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Gennady Burbulis, former Belarusian President Stanislau Shushkevich, and former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk (from left to right) speak at the Atlantic Council on November 18. Credit: Amal Azimova