The original agreement on dissolving the Soviet Union may be lost
MINSK, February 8 - RAPSI, Alexei Bukchin. The original of the agreement signed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in Belarus in 1991 to mark the dissolution of the Soviet Union is missing.
The CIS Executive Committee only has a copy, while the Belarusian Foreign Ministry and the officials who signed the document do not have the original either.
"The Commonwealth of Independent States did not exist when the agreement was signed. We later received a certified copy from the Foreign Ministry," said a spokesperson of the CIS Executive Committee. He stressed that the absence of the original cannot have any legal consequences, as there are certified true and faithful copies of the original.
The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said they will search for the document. "We have noted a heightened interest in this situation. We need to look in the archives to see what we can do," said Andrei Savinykh, press secretary of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry.
Former head of Belarus Stanislav Shushkevich, who signed the agreement, said that he handed the document over to the Foreign Ministrys Protocol Department and that Belarusian Foreign Minister Pyotr Kravchenko took it with him when leaving Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
Kravchenko claims that he has copies of the agreement, but not the original.
Shushkevich does not remember how many copies they signed. "We most likely signed three copies, one each for Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, but on the other hand, it is possible that there was only one document," he said.
The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine met in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha Natural Reserve in Belarus in 1991 and signed an agreement, thus founding the CIS. The agreement said all the members were sovereign and independent nations and thereby effectively abolished the Soviet Union.