The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1992Prime Minister (1990-1997)

Mr Major’s Joint Declaration with the Russian Federation – 30 January 1992

Below is the text of Mr Major’s Joint Declaration with the Russian Federation, issued on 30th January 1992.


The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Russian Federation are opening a new page in their relations. They have left behind the period of the Cold War, do not threaten each other’s national interests and are committed to universal democratic principles and aspirations.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Russian Federation, further referred to as the Parties, guided by a spirit of mutual respect and in the interests of developing wide-ranging and friendly relations between their two countries and also their broad cooperation in the international arena, have agreed upon the following:


1. The Parties recognise that, with the dissolution of the USSR, a group of independent and sovereign states has joined the world community. At the same time, the Russian Federation continues to be responsible in full for the international rights and obligations previously assumed by the Soviet Union.

2. The Parties declare that the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation are friendly States and partners within the international community. Relations between them will be founded on a shared commitment to the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, and also upon respect for the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Final Act, the Paris Charter for a New Europe and other documents of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe.

3. Between the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation there are no ideological barriers, and no political impediments to the growth of friendship and mutual understanding between the British and Russian peoples.


4. The Parties recognise their special responsibility as Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council for the maintenance of the peace and security of all States and to cooperate in the fulfilment of the principles of justice, democracy and common human values. They will do all in their power to enhance the effectiveness of the United Nations Organisation.

5. The Parties welcome the transition from confrontation to cooperation in Europe and the world, and the resultant strengthening of the security of all States. They declare that their armed forces are designated purely for defensive purposes. The United Kingdom and the Russian Federation are committed to the principle that the command, control and management of armed forces should be organised within the framework of democratic institutions and the rule of law. The Parties attach the highest importance to the maintenance of international stability and security during this time of deep transformation in Europe and in the former Soviet Union. They declare their commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes by political means and through dialogue.

6. The Parties intend to undertake all steps necessary to ensure that nuclear weapons, and all other weapons of mass destruction, are held at all times under secure control. They believe that any proliferation of weapons of mass destruction carries serious risks for international peace and security.

7. The Parties reaffirm their strong commitment to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention of 1972, and their readiness to conclude an agreement on a comprehensive ban on chemical weapons. They will remain in active consultation on these questions, and will also examine the potential for British/Russian cooperation in the destruction and safe disposal of surplus weapons in Russia. The United Kingdom and the Russian Federation will take steps to prevent the transfer to other countries of technology and expert knowledge which could contribute to the development of nuclear armaments and of other types of weapon of mass destruction.

8. The United Kingdom and the Russian Federation will work together to consolidate and carry forward agreements for the reduction of forces and armaments. They look to the very early ratification and implementation of the CFE Treaty, as well as of the START Agreement and of other measures to reduce nuclear weapons.


9. The Parties will organise regular exchanges of Ministerial visits. They will encourage inter-Parliamentary cooperation and contacts between legislative and executive bodies in the two countries, and will promote the exchange of experience in the preparation and implementation of legislation. The Parties will give all appropriate assistance to the development of contacts between public and private organisations in the two countries.

10. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation will hold regular consultations on both bilateral and international questions.

11. The Parties favour the further development of exchanges between the armed forces and Defence Ministries of the two countries at different levels and will seek to extend the scope and content of these exchanges.


12. The Parties share the view that it is the objective of Governments to establish conditions for the development of free enterprise and of the creative abilities of individuals. They are committed to bilateral cooperation in conditions of a free market, economic liberalisation, free trade and sound management.

The Parties believe that the integration of the Russian Federation in the world economic system is a vital objective. This process will encourage private investment, stimulate trade and assist the more effective utilization of Russia’s large human and natural resources. The United Kingdom will continue to give active support to the Russian Federation’s application for membership at the earliest possible time of the International Monetary Fund, and of other international economic organisations.

13. The Parties acknowledge that there is potential for a large increase in trade between the two countries. They agree that economic reform, agreement on debt questions and the creation of a clear legal environment for investment will establish conditions for greater involvement by British companies in the Russian Federation.

14. The Parties consider it especially important that closer relations in different areas should be developed between all the countries of Europe.

The Russian Federation welcomes the United Kingdom’s longstanding commitment to an outward-looking European Community. The United Kingdom will continue to support the development of effective ties between the European Community and the Russian Federation.


15. The Parties acknowledge the importance of the early signature of a British/Russian Treaty, designed to consolidate the fundamental principles of future relations between the two countries.

Signed by:

JOHN MAJOR, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

BORIS N YELTSIN, President of the Russian Federation