Ukraine Not to Prolong Friendship Treaty With Russia After April 1, 2019

Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, voted on Thursday not to prolong the 1997 Russia-Ukraine Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership after it terminates on April 1, 2019.

A total of 277 parliamentarians out of 450 supported the move.

Earlier, Ukrainian lawmakers from the ultra-nationalist Svoboda party introduced a bill demanding that Ukraine’s bilateral agreements with Russia be annulled since the Verkhovna Rada was considering ending the 1997 Russia-Ukraine Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership.

The decision has been made after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko submitted to the Rada a bill to terminate the treaty on 3 December, which is a key document governing bilateral relations.

Moscow received a note from Kiev about the non-extension of the Russia-Ukraine Friendship Treaty in September.

In 2015, the Ukrainian parliament declared Russia an “aggressor state,” citing Moscow’s alleged interference in Ukraine’s domestic affairs and involvement in the conflict in the eastern Donbass region, albeit without providing evidence. The Russian Foreign Ministry has said that Ukraine’s claims are “groundless innuendos.”

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