Ukraine to terminate Friendship treaty with Russia

Ukraine to terminate Friendship treaty with Russia

Kiev [Ukraine]: Ukraine has decided to terminate the 1997 Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty in the wake of the Kerch Strait incident with President Petro Poroshenko signing law number 206 to terminate the treaty on Monday.

The treaty forbids the countries from declaring war on each other and recognises the principle of respect for territorial integrity between the nations, according to Sputnik.

The law, which will come into effect on April 1 next year, enjoys the support of Ukraine’s parliament which voted against continuing the treaty last week. The country had earlier sent a diplomatic note to Russia in September, outlining their decision of not renewing the treaty which was signed after the disintegration of the USSR in 1991.

“Ukrainian law No.206 on the termination of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership Between Ukraine and the Russian Federation has been signed,” Poroshenko announced on Monday.

The Ukrainian President has previously remarked that the country is under the threat of a “full-scale war” with Russia while referring to the Kerch Strait incident which took place on November 25.

Three Ukrainian ships were impounded by Russia at the Kerch Strait on November 25, leading to a tense situation and conflicting reasons given by both the nations over the incident. In worsening relations between the nations, martial law was enforced along Ukraine’s border with Russia for a month starting on November 28.

While Ukraine states that two of its small gunboats and one tugboat were attacked by Russia when they entered the Kerch Strait, the Russian Foreign Ministry states that Ukraine provoked the country by crossing the Russian maritime border despite Russia’s warning to stop. Ukrainian crewmen on board the vessels have been detained by Russia.

The United States of America, meanwhile, has extended its support to Ukraine and called for Russia to return the vessels and crewmen to Ukraine. US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo further called on Russia “to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders, extending to its territorial waters” in a press release.