“We, the representatives of various nationalities and various regions, want a common space from Chukotka to Kyiv and Chisinau and from Murmansk to Derbent and Kushka. All the territory of the former USSR must be a sace in which one can freely move, on which there will not be visas and tariffs … and where Russian will be the main language of inter-national communication.”
He says the peoples of this space must develop “a new formula of political existence,” in which “the Russian Federation will be transformed into the Russian Confederation in which Arkhangelsk, Tashkent, Novosibirsk, Dushanbe, Saratov and Baku will receive sovereignty” and in which Moscow will have the last word “only in seven spheres.”
These will be “foreign policy, finance, energy, transportation, communication and ecology. All other laws will be established independently by the subjects of the confederation,” Zhirinovsky says.
“We all live on the land of the former USSR, and there is no need to sort people by nationality, religious faith or way of life. All that is the affair of each resident. But we want to live in one space. We are the new citizens of the former lands of the USSR,” [and] we are all landsmen.”
“We want freedom and the feeling of belong to an enormous common union,” Zhirinovsky says.
The LDPR leader’s proposals recall those of Mikhail Gorbachev when the latter was seeking to preserve the USSR via “a new union treaty” and by seeking to counter Russia’s drive toward independence by elevating the status of the autonomous republics within the RSFSR to the status of union republics within the Soviet Union.
And they are thus addressed to three audiences: those who want to see a restoration of the Soviet Union, those who want to see non-Russian regions within the Russian Federation reduced in status, and those who want to see Russian regions within the Russian Federation elevated in status to at least equality with the non-Russian regions.
There is little likelihood that this proposal will achieve anything more than Gorbachev’s ideas did, attracting those who operate on the principle “why can’t they all just get along?” and offending everyone else who will see what Zhirinovsky proposes as threatening either their current or future status.