There has been so much alarming news from the Soviet Union recently that the stabilization pact signed by President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and nine Soviet republics comes as a relief. After months of turmoil and disintegration, this agreement finally creates the possibility that a new, mutually satisfactory power-sharing agreement can be worked out between the Kremlin and Russia, the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Tadzhikistan, Kirghizia and Turkmenistan.
In a surprise move, leaders of those nine republics agreed to draft a treaty forming a successor state to what today is the Soviet Union. Once the treaty is signed, a new constitution will be prepared and elections held to fill whatever "union power bodies" are created. Soviet and local legislative and administrative organs are to continue operating during the transitional period.
Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldavia, Georgia and Armenia are not among the signatories of this agreement. Significantly, the pact recognizes their right to "independently decide on the question of accession to the union treaty," which is what they have demanded all along. Equally significant, the pact decrees that if those rebellious republics decide against joining the new Soviet federation, they will not qualify for the most-favored-nation treatment within its "single economic space."