Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Decree Claims Ex-Soviet Assets Abroad

President Boris Yeltsin has signed a decree making Russia the sole inheritor of all former Soviet property abroad, the president's press agency said Tuesday.

The decree makes Russia the successor state to the U. S. S. R. "assuming all rights to movable and immovable property" and also pledges to fulfill "all obligations associated with the use of the property".

It covers all embassies, cultural centers and any other real estate that once belonged to the Soviet Union.

Anatoly Krasikov, the head of the presidential press service, said that any questions of ownership that could arise would be settled "in a civilized manner".

"We expect practical questions to arise due to the decree", Krasikov said Tuesday.

"The decree will function as a basis for bilateral discussions between the republics involved". he said.

Krasikov stressed that the decree should be seen as a "legal framework" for handling Russia's property abroad.

Vladimir Dolganov, spokesperson for the Ukrainian Embassy in Moscow, said it was too early to give an official reaction to the decision.

He did say, however, that due to an agreement between the two countries, the Ukraine is entitled to at least some of the Soviet property.

Three weeks ago, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Shokhin of Russia and First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Yukhnovsky of Ukraine signed an agreement under which Ukraine would pay 16 percent of the Soviet foreign debt, Dolganov said.

"This therefore also implies that the Ukraine inherits 16 percent of former Soviet property", he added.