„"You must tell them that there must be a new union or there will be chaos," he [Shevardnadze] implored me. That evening, when I hosted republic leaders for dinner — a mixed group of presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers — I saw around the table and in the conversation a microcosm of the post-coup Soviet Union’s potential — and its problems. Whatever euphoria that they felt with their post-putsch independence declarations had given way to a marked degree of realism. "Independence sounds nice, but we have to live, and we have to be practical," observed the Prime Minister of Moldova, Valeriu Muravsky. That was the persistent theme that I heard from every one of the republic leaders, with the sole exception of the Georgian Prime Minister, Vissarion Gugushvili, though even he spoke of the need for economic cooperation once Georgian independence was recognized internationally.“

—  James Baker, 1995, The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War and Peace 1989-1992 (1995) by James Addison Baker, p. 531
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