131 Autonomy in Communist Countries By Michael Bogdan * I. Introduction When discussing the problems of autonomy for the small nations of the North, one should not ignore the fact that northern Europe comprises also huge territories be- longing to the Soviet Union, which are inhabited by several different nationalities (the term »nationality« does not in this paper denote citizenship, but ethnic origin or an ethnic group). In fact, most of the Soviet-Finnish border, from the lake of Ladoga in the south to the polar circle in the north, also separates Finland from the »Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic«, which is a part of the »Russian Soviet Fede- ral Socialist Republic« which, in turn, is one of the fifteen union republics compo- sing the U.S.S. R. The Soviet Union, however, is not the only Communist state where national minorities, or some of them, enjoy autonomy, since autonomous territories exist also in Yugoslavia and in the People's Republic of China. This paper is an at- tempt to present, in a very concise form, the main features of autonomy in these three countries. The problem of national minorities exists, naturally, also in other Communist countries. Czechoslovakia is a federation of
Nordic Journal of International Law – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1986
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