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Former Belarusian Leader Marks 75th Birthday In United States

Stanislau Shushkevich

Stanislau Shushkevich

The former leader of Belarus, Stanislau Shushkevich marked his 75th birthday today, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Along with Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk, Shushkevich signed the Belavezh Accords that dissolved the Soviet Union in 1991.

Shushkevich was the chairman of the Belarusian Supreme Soviet from 1991 to 1994 and played a key role in creating the Commonwealth of Independent States.

He receives a monthly pension equal to slightly more than 1 euro and therefore spends most of his time lecturing in various universities in Poland, the United States, and some Asian countries.

Shushkevich, who is currently lecturing at a university in the U.S. state of Georgia, told RFE/RL by phone that, looking back at the achievements in his life, most of all he cherishes being a part of his country's history.

He added that he is very happy to have taught numerous students who have achieved great things.

Privately, he said he is proud of his long marriage and his granddaughter, who is studying in the United States.