Kremlin: Russia considers Ukraine's decision not to renew the Friendship Treaty a ‘destructive step’

In a statement issued in response to Ukraine's withdrawal from the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty with Russia, the Kremlin accused Ukraine of striving to "serve foreign geopolitical interests and their political ambitions."

"The destructive steps taken by Ukraine’s current leadership cause deep regret," the statement reads.

The document also notes that "historically people of Russia and Ukraine are destined to live in as good neighbors", and "the current crisis" between the countries "will inevitably be overcome." Russia plans on "restoring relations with "other, more responsible Ukrainian politicians."

On September 17, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a decree, which approved the National Security and Defense Council’s decision to terminate the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Ukraine and Russia.

This decision instructs the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to notify Russia about the intention to terminate the treaty by September 30th, and submit a bill on the termination of the treaty to the president.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry was also instructed to inform the United Nations Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international organizations of the intention to terminate the treaty and reasons for this termination.

The Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation was signed on May 31, 1997, for a period of 10 years, with automatic extension for subsequent decades, provided neither party objects. The treaty establishes the principles of strategic partnership, recognition of the inviolability of existing borders, respect for territorial integrity, and the mutual obligation not to use one’s territory to harm the security of the other.

The first 10-year period began on the date the treaty came into force, April 1 1999, and ended on April 1, 2009. Since neither party wished to terminate the agreement at the time, it was automatically extended for another 10 years. According to article 40 of the treaty, if one party wishes to terminate the treaty, it must inform the other party in writing at least six months before the end of the current 10-year period.


  Russia, Ukraine, Friendship and Cooperation Treaty, Poroshenko