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Belarus has lost the agreement signed on its territory by the heads of three USSR republics in 1991 to dissolve the Soviet Union, one of the signatories and the foreign ministry said Thursday.
The Belevezha Accords, signed on December 8, 1991 at a luxury dacha in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha forest, set up the post-Soviet group the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and effectively dissolved the Soviet Union.
"I am writing my memoirs in Belarussian and I wanted to take a copy in Belarussian," said former Belarus president Stanislav Shushkevich who signed the agreement along with Ukraine's Leonid Kravchuk and Russia's Boris Yeltsin.
"But I was just given a photocopy in Russian, without explanation. I can conclude that the original is not in Minsk. I suspect it has been stolen to sell it at a high price.
"And I can even guess who has done this," he added without giving further details.
Shushkevich, a leading foe of President Alexander Lukashenko, said the agreement should have been in the foreign ministry archives. He said each side received an original copy in their national languages.
Belarus foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Savinykh confirmed that the original could not be found.
"We need to work in the archives to find out what has happened," he said emphasising that the agreement still remained in force despite the loss of the document.