Launched by Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov, the exhibition marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the BSSR Mission to the Council of People’s Commissars of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (the BSSR’s first diplomatic representation abroad) and the Provision of the People’s Commissariat of BSSR Foreign Affairs. It features about 1,500 exhibits documenting Belarusian diplomatic history. Among them are those on the Peace Treaty of Riga, the first independent note of the People’s Commissariat and the first Belarusian foreign passports.
“These documents are unique, dating back 90 years and filling in historical gaps regarding international relations from those times. They destroy common Soviet historical myths, as most documents were declassified only in the 1990s,” explains the Head of the History and Archives Department at Belarus’ Foreign Ministry, Vadim Sverchkov. He notes that the exhibited documents were partially taken from the Foreign Ministry’s archives and others from the State Archives Service.
The exhibition crowns the efforts of the Foreign Ministry to compile a database of documents regarding foreign relations. These are often used for printed articles and research projects.
Mr. Martynov asked the diplomats in attendance to contribute to keeping clear historical records of Belarusian diplomacy. “Time slips ever away. We might think that everything is clear today but when a document is gone or photos are missing, and people are gone, nothing remains,” he said.