Ukraine to denounce treaty on friendship, cooperation with Russia

Ukraine to denounce treaty on friendship, cooperation with Russia

Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a package of documents for the denunciation of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership with Russia, concluded in 1997, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said, adding that it should be denounced before September 30.

"These documents have already been prepared, the whole package. We've processed it. We'll submit it formally very soon," Interfax cited Klimkin as saying.

On August 28, Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko said he was expecting the Foreign Ministry to submit a package of documents on initiating the termination of the agreement. He also admitted that it was impossible to denounce the entire treaty.

Russia and Ukraine signed the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership in May 1997. The document, which entered into force in April 1999 for a term of ten years, could be automatically extended for ten-year periods provided the parties did not object. The document enshrines strategic partnership between the two countries and mutual obligations not to use one’s territory to harm the other’s security, as well as recognizes the inviolability of existing borders.

While commenting on the issue, Kremlin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he believes that "it would be unreasonable to take any steps that could inflict additional harm on the interests of the two countries' people."

The deputy director of the Institute of the CIS, Vladimir Zharikhin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, recalled that Ukraine's  former leadership, since 1997, had also read this important document selectively. "And the current government has simply violated absolutely all the articles of this document, so it does not work anyway. By the way, they said in the State Duma that it should be denounced, but it's better to let this be done by the current Ukrainian authorities," the expert explained.

The director of 'Slobodchuk and partners: politics, PR, elections', Sergey Slobodchuk, in turn, noted in the first place that this treaty has not only enshrined a strategic partnership between Ukraine and Russia, but actually carried out the demarcation of the Ukrainian border. "It turns out that if this agreement is denounced, then the borders of Ukraine are in question. Why does Kiev want to denounce this treaty? It's clear that this is part of the political game. The Ukrainian authorities have built their policy of recent years precisely on their confrontation with Russia," the expert said.

At the same time, he stressed that the Ukrainian leadership should exclude certain risks in this issue. "For this reason, they will denounce only certain provisions. It would be a very risky move to break this agreement and therefore call into question the inviolability of the borders. This requires the decision of the Verkhovna Rada. That is, if the authorities bring this issue to the Verkhovna Rada vote, then all the competitors of Poroshenko's presidency will immediately say that this decision was made thanks to them. Therefore, it would be a disadvantageous move. Poroshenko does not dominate in the media now," the director of 'Slobodchuk and partners: politics, PR, elections' explained.