First Congress of the Peoples of the Caucasus

Opening Remarks by E.K. Ligachev, First Deputy Chairman of the International Committee, Northstar Compass, February 2000

This First Congress was held on September 26, 1999 in the city of Nalchik and sponsored by the “International Union of Peoples, Unified For Union and Brotherhood of People.”

Comrades! Friends!

Today's Congress represents over 100 nationalities which live on the territory of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Georgia, Northern Caucuses of Russia and now gathered here for the First Congress of the Peoples of the Caucasus.

What woke us up to come here? What circumstances that are prevailing now made this First Congress imperative?

The International Committee, the peoples patriotic organizations and communist parties, deciding about this congress, came to the conclusion that the decisive decisions belong to the people and must be made by them together.

The serious and tragic situation now in the Caucasus, internal conflicts, wars and terrorist acts, plus the policies and involvement of the USA and Turkey, made this Congress necessary since the foreign intervention in this region is aimed at breaking the traditional ties of friendship and try to dislodge us from Russia.

We came here to proceed to try and implement the desire of the people for a confederation of all peoples into the USSR, Soviet style of equal peoples which was adopted by the Assembly of Peoples of the USSR in April of 1998.

We must discuss the main problems which brought on this conflict in the Caucasus. We must know and state again and again, that the present serious situation in this region is due to the dismemberment of the USSR, the dissolution of the Socialist Soviet system and the forced capitalization of the country. As a result of this, the economic hardships, the massive unemployment, the disbursement of peoples and the growth of the strong exploiting bourgeoisie… these are the very real and main causes.

Because of all of these terrorist acts all across the Soviet Union, many thousands of people perished. Please let us stand and give a minute of silence in memory of these people.

Comrades! Whatever might he said by our enemies, during Soviet times we had Lenin's national policy. Today, the present regime is not following these principles. The Soviet period in all of the Caucasus was one of the best periods in the growth of unity and solidarity plus the blossoming of all the many cultures. These present pseudo-democrats or also the newly-baked separatists somehow fail to mention these cardinal facts.

We must explain as to what really transpired in the last few years. Let us take this terrorism, banditry—all different suggestions are put forward as to how best to liquidate and to stop this internal strife. Much that is proposed of course must be done.

But there is another question. Mass terrorism, this is the product of the dismemberment of the USSR—the horrific and forceful implementation of capitalism against the will of the people. Here, there is more unemployment than anywhere else. Here is the real root of the problem. Here is the cause of terrorist acts. In order to eliminate this terrorism, we must abolish the economic chaos, unemployment and must have a long term economic development plan. Just implementing the military road to end terrorism is not enough.

Russian people shall not allow nationalism from any nation to separate our people. Our people feel themselves that they are Soviet. We cannot have the present bourgeois regime use the phrase “people with Caucasian faces”. We must forcefully state to all the people that terrorists are not the whole people! There are no bad nationalities, all the peoples are equal. Our daily slogan must be: “For Peace and Friendship between peoples of the Caucasus! Together with Peoples of Russia!”

Our proposed Resolution states that we need all forms of effective measures to bring all these conflicts to an end. We must have a state of workers and the rebirth of the Soviet Union.

Comrades! We want to thank the President of the Balkarsky Republic, Valerie Kokovu, for the hospitality and the arrangements to hold such a Congress here in the city of Nalchik.

We are certain that this First Congress of the Caucasus is going to go down in history as the meeting of brotherly peoples, while there is bloodshed being caused by powers that want this unity destroyed.

Those that have devastated and dismembered our country are afraid of the coming unity. They want to fan the flames of nationalism and also instigate conflicts… since this is for the benefit of their Western partners.

Many resolutions and demands were adopted and decision taken to hold such Congresses until the re-establishment of the Soviet Union!