Appendix 5.1 Constitution (Fundamental Law) of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Adopted at the Seventh (Special) Session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Ninth Convocation, on October 7, 1977 (EXTRACTS)


Article 70

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is an integral, federal, multinational state formed on the principle of socialist federalism as a result of the free self-determination of nations and the voluntary association of equal Soviet Socialist Republics.

The USSR embodies the state unity of the Soviet people and draws all its nations and nationalities together for the purpose of jointly building communism.

Article 71

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics unites:

the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic,

the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic,.

the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic,

the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Article 72

Each Union Republic shall retain the right freely to secede from the USSR.

Article 73

The jurisdiction of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as represented by its highest bodies of state authority and administration, shall cover:

  1. the admission of new republics to the USSR; endorsement of the formation of new autonomous republics and autonomous regions within Union Republics;
  2. determination of the state boundaries of the USSR and approval of changes in the boundaries between Union Republics;
  3. establishment of the general principles for the organisation and functioning of republican and local bodies of state authority and administration;
  4. the ensurance of uniformity of legislative norms throughout the USSR and establishment of the fundamentals of the legislation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Union Republics;
  5. pursuance of a uniform social and economic policy; direction of the country’s economy; determination of the main lines of scientific and technological progress and the general measures for rational exploitation and conservation of national resources; the drafting and approval of state plans for the economic and social development of the USSR, and endorsement of reports on their fulfilment;
  6. the drafting and approval of the consolidated Budget of the USSR, and endorsement of the report on its execution; management of a single monetary and credit system; determination of the taxes and revenues forming the Budget of the USSR; and the formulation of prices and wages policy;
  7. direction of the sectors of the economy, and of enterprises and amalgamations under Union jurisdiction, and general direction of industries under Union-Republican jurisdiction;
  8. issues of war and peace, defence of the sovereignty of the USSR and safeguarding of its frontiers and territory, and organisation of defence; direction of the Armed Forces of the USSR;
  9. state security;
  10. representation of the USSR in international relations; the USSR’s relations with other states and with international organisations; establishment of the general procedure for, and co-ordination of, the relations of Union Republics with other states and with international organisations; foreign trade and other forms of external economic activity on the basis of state monopoly;
  11. control over observance of the Constitution of the USSR, and ensurance of conformity of the Constitutions of Union Republics to the Constitution of the USSR;
  12. and settlement of other matters of All-Union importance.

Article 74

The laws of the USSR shall have the same force in all Union Republics. In the event of a discrepancy between a Union Republic law and an All-Union law, the law of the USSR shall prevail.

Article 75

The territory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is a single entity and comprises the territories of the Union Republics.

The sovereignty of the USSR extends throughout its territory.