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The Law of Treaties

The practice of concluding treaties in the modern history of the Republic of Belarus began with the formation of the Belarusian Soviet Socialist Republic on January 1, 1919.

One of its' first treaties, the Treaty on the military and economic union of the BSSR and the RSFSR , was signed on January 16, 1921. In this Treaty the independence and sovereignty of each of the contracting parties was recognized on the basis of the right of peoples to self-determination.

On December 30, 1922 four republics, including the BSSR, signed the Treaty on the Creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It empowered the USSR to represent the BSSR in the whole entirety of its' international relations.

The right of the republics of the Union to conduct their foreign policy had been restored since February 1, 1944.

On June 26, 1945 Kuzma Kiselev, the People's Commissioner of Foreign Affairs of the BSSR, signed the UN Charter on behalf of the BSSR, as an independent subject of international relations and international law.

In total from 1944 to 1991 the BSSR had concluded 156 treaties.

On July 27, 1990 the Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Belarusian SSR was adopted. It was granted the status of a constitutional law on August 25, 1991.

On December 8, 1991 Belarus signed the Agreement establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States, and on December 10 of the same year the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR of 1922.

Belarus automatically became the successor to the treaties of the Belarusian SSR.

As of January 1, 2020 the Republic of Belarus participates in 2,615 bilateral and 1,316 multilateral treaties.

In 2018, the Republic of Belarus signed 173 bilateral and multilateral treaties, and during 2019 it signed 127 more.

The continent-by-continent distribution of the state parties to the bilateral treaties signed by Belarus in 2019 is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Belarus signed 53 multilateral treaties, including 13 in the framework of the EAEU (in particular, the Agreement on Treaties of the EAEU), 18 within the CIS and 4 in the framework of the CSTO, 11 treaties were signed with the international financial institutions.

In 2019, Belarus signed 33 multilateral treaties, including 20 in the framework of the EAEU, 9 within the CIS, one each within the framework of the Eastern Partnership and the Universal Postal Union (inter alia, Council of Europe Convention on the counterfeiting of medical products and similar crimes involving threats to public health (Medicrime) and the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation).

The latest version of the Law on Treaties entered into force in December 2018.

The MFA has also prepared a Manual, which clarifies in detail the procedure which Belarusian state bodies follow operating with treaties and their drafts.

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