Ukrainian-Russian Friendship Treaty Ends
Ukraine's Parliament voted not to prolong the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with Russia beyond 2019
“The Russian Federation defiantly neglected the basic provisions of the treaty, violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine, committing armed aggression, carrying out military and economic pressure, and interfering in the internal affairs of the country,” Serhiy Kyslytsia, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine said.
The Friendship treaty was signed in 1997 by then-president Boris Yeltsin and Leonid Kuchma. The document provided the principles of strategic partnership and mutual recognition of common borders. Every 10 years, the treaty was automatically prolonged, if its provisions were not violated and the parties did not declare their desire to not prolong it. Lawmaker Oksana Bilozir said Russia’s attack on Ukrainian sailors in the Sea of Azov had an effect on the final vote.
“Why now? Because it was open military aggression in the neutral waters of the Azov Sea for the first time. For the first time, cynically, under the flags of Russia, this aggression has happened. And no country can bring itself down to such a level that it does not react,” member of the Ukrainian parliament Oksana Bilozir said.
Due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, it’s likely that Thursday’s vote to end the Treaty of Friendship is not the last, the issue of revising all treaties with Russia remains open.
“We are expecting that the Foreign Ministry will revise the entire treaty and legal framework with the Russian Federation. We are waiting for further steps of the President and the National Security and Defense Council – which will demonstrate that we are able to protect the information space, and take decisive sanctions against Russia’s agents of influence – as well as strengthen the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” member of the Ukrainian parliament Hanna Hopko said.