The History of the Belarusian Statehood
The events of the August coup in Moscow sealed the process of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. In August 1991 the political influence of the communist party was enormously limited. As a result, on 19 September 1991, the Supreme Council of the BSSR passed the law to rename the country: the Belarusian SSR became the Republic of Belarus, or just Belarus.
On December 8, 1991, a meeting of three heads of state took place in the Wiskuli government residence in the Belowezha Forest. Boris Yeltsin (Russia), Stanislav Shushkevich (Belarus) and Leonid Kravchuk (Ukraine) declared the treaty of 1922 to be cancelled and founded a new international confederation: the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
In 1992 the national currency (Belarusian rouble) was introduced and by 1993 Belarus was nuclear weapon free.
The adoption of the Belarusian constitution of 15 March 1994 played a special role in anchoring sovereignty. Following the first presidential election in July 1994, Alexander Lukashenko took over the country’s government.
In the 90s of the 20th century, the Belarusian people gained their political self-determination. Belarus became a sovereign state for the first time and gained its independence on the world stage.
In 1995, Belarus signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation with Russia, thus marking its political orientation and development for the future.
The 1995 referendum changed the Belarusian national symbols, but the Soviet coat of arms remained the basis of the new state symbols.
The two languages (Belarusian and Russian) became equivalent state languages and official languages.
On November 24, 1996, a referendum was held to amend the Constitution, initiated by the President of Belarus. The referendum changed the structure of the legislative power. Instead of the Supreme Council, a new bicameral parliament was formed, the National Assembly. In addition, Belarus became more presidential in the course of the referendum. This change in the state system was accompanied by protests, and opposition members of parliament gathered signatures to initiate an impeachment procedure against the president.
Another referendum in October 2004 lifted the limitation on the president’s terms of office. Today, Alexander Lukashenko rules in his fifth term.
In November 2009, the Presidents of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan signed treaties establishing a customs union, which was established in 2014 to facilitate and develop trade and economic relations between the countries. This Union developed into nowadays Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).