UARU
Ukrainian President Plans to Terminate Friendship Treaty with Russia
4 September, 2018

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has announced his intentions to terminate the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with the Russian Federation. According to the President, he plans to officially inform Russia by September 30.

This was first stated by Poroshenko in a meeting with foreign diplomats on August 28, in which he said he was awaiting the necessary documents to begin this process from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. By August 30, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin announced that these documents were ready.

Photo credit: EPA/ZURAB KURTSIKIDZE

Deputy Chair of the Verkhovna Rada Iryna Herashchenko, however, in meeting of the Conciliation Council of faction leaders and chairmen of parliamentary committee, noted that the treaty would be terminated by non-prolongation, and not denunciation, and that there was a significant difference between the two.

“It's not about any denunciations, because we will demand from the Russian Federation in all international courts – in The Hague and in other courts – to bear responsibility for violating the agreement," Herashchenko is quoted as saying by UNIAN news agency.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has stated that he intends to discuss the plan to terminate the Treaty with the parliament. If parliament agrees, Ukraine could be out of the Treaty by October 2018.

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The Treaty of Friendship was signed in May 1997 by the former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma and his Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin. It was later ratified by the Ukrainian parliament in January 1998, and officially came into force in April 1999.

The document is automatically renewed every 10 years and was therefore due for renewal in April 2019.

The Treaty consists of 41 articles outlining mutual cooperation between the two countries. The text also says that Ukraine and Russia have “close ties,” which have developed throughout history and that both sides agree to “good neighborliness.”

The Treaty specifically states that Ukraine and Russia must not attack one another, or make any economic decisions, or enter into agreements with a third country, which could harm the other side. What’s more, one of the key elements of the treaty is that existing territorial borders must be respected.

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Therefore, it is unsurprising that there have been numerous calls for Ukraine to leave the Treaty since 2014, when Russia illegally annexed Crimea breaking two of the agreement’s key points – non-aggression and recognition of borders.

/By Sofia Fedeczko