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Turkey gives Ukraine an official copy of the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba with facsimile of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Photo: Ukrinform
Turkey gives Ukraine an official copy of the 1918 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Translated by: Christine Chraibi
A facsimile of the original Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which was found in the Ottoman State Archives in Istanbul, was formally handed to Ukraine.

The document will be brought to Ukraine by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba.

“We continue searching for historical documents and artefacts that show Ukraine’s government traditions and diplomatic work on the international level, because they are very important elements of our identity and nation-building,” said Dmytro Kuleba.

The document was found in the Ottoman State Archives in mid-October thanks to the efforts and persistence of the Embassy of Ukraine in Türkiye and the Consulate General of Ukraine in Istanbul. In addition, Ukrainian specialists found the instrument of ratification signed by Hetman Pavlo Skoropadsky.

“This remarkable discovery in the Ottoman State Archives will enable us to restore a page of history that is closely connected with Ukrainian statehood. It is extremely gratifying that this part of history will finally be in Ukraine today,” said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Türkiye Andriy Sybiha, as he handed over the document.

Dmytro Kuleba pointed out that the original document was very well preserved and the facsimile edition was excellent.

The copy of the treaty of Brest-Litovsk will be kept in the Museum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on February 9, 1918 by the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Türkiye and Bulgaria) as part of the negotiations that took place in present-day Brest, Belarus. It recognized the sovereignty of the Ukrainian National Republic.

The Central Powers signed a separate peace treaty with Bolshevik Russia at Brest-Litovsk on March 3, 1918. The Russian RFSR agreed to recognize the concluded treaty with the UNR, sign a peace treaty with Ukraine immediately, and define the border between Russia and Ukraine.

Closing session of the Peace Protocol signing during the night  February 9-10, 1918. From left to right: German General Brinkmann, Ukrainian delegates Mykola Liubynsky, Mykola Levytsky, Oleksandr Sevriuk, German General Max Hoffmann and Ukrainian Economic Adviser Serhiy Ostapenko. Photo: Wikipedia

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk provided Ukraine with German military aid in clearing Bolshevik forces from Ukraine in February-April 1918. However, the Allied Powers received news of the treaty with indignation and suspended relations with the UNR. The Treaty of Rapallo of 1922 between Germany and Soviet Russia canceled the German commitments made at Brest-Litovsk. The disintegration of Austria-Hungary automatically annulled Austria’s commitments. Türkiye renounced the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by signing a treaty with the Ukrainian SSR in 1922.

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
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