TASS News Agency reported on Tuesday that Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko instructed his country’s Foreign Ministry to draw up a package of documents to begin the process of abrogating the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.
Poroshenko revealed the story on Tuesday at a conference with members of the Ukrainian diplomatic corps.
“Eventually, after sufficient preparations and upon building up enough legal protection we’ve come to the next step, which is to dissolve the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation that has long become anachronistic,” he said.
“I expect a necessary package of documents from the Foreign Ministry on the launch of this process shortly ,” Poroshenko said.He said in April he would submit a bill on a unilateral severing of some provisions of the treaty to the Verkhovna Rada, the country’s national parliament, admitting simultaneously the treaty could not be cancelled in toto but suspension of some of its provisions was necessary.
The Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia was signed in May 1997 and took effect in April 1999 for a period of ten years. It contains provision on an automatic prolongation for subsequent ten-year periods if the sides do not have objections.
The treaty stipulates the principle of strategic partnership and proclaims inviolability of existing borders, respect for territorial integrity, and a reciprocal obligation of the two countries to refrain from using their territories for in detriment of each other’s security.
October 2018 marks the deadline by which the sides should state their intention on either prolonging the treaty for the next ten years breaking it up.
Given the deteriorating climate between Ukraine and Russia since the West’s interference with Ukraine began in earnest in the 2013-2014 EuroMaidan coup, this situation appears to be a further sign of Ukraine trying to alienate its neighbor.
The move appears concurrent with moves to try to create an autocephalous (self-ruling) Orthodox Church that is distinctly Ukrainian, though this move has a very poor chance at success, since the group chosen for this elevation is in a non-canonical state with the rest of the Orthodox world.
Russia’s reaction to this news is that Ukraine is only hurting itself. In a further piece released by TASS:
[The] head of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of Parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Slutsky thinks that Russia has no reason to fear Ukraine’s “unpleasant surprises” soon to be announced during UN’s General Assembly.
Earlier, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN Vladimir Yelchenko stated that Kiev is preparing a set of anti-Russian initiatives that Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko will announce at the 73rd session of the UN’s General Assembly.
“The Ukrainian permanent representative to the UN has promised “unpleasant surprises” for the Russian delegation at the General Assembly. If you keep in mind how the current regime behaves with its own people, “unpleasant surprises” are very much in the style of Kiev. However, unfortunately, so far they are only hurting themselves,” Slutsky told journalists on Tuesday.
The 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly opens on September 18. Its first major forum, the high-level Nelson Mandela Peace Summit will he held on September 24, timed to mark his centennial. On the following day, yearly general debate will begin with the participation of heads of state and government as well as foreign ministers of the UN member countries. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is heading Russia’s delegation, with Slutsky forming part of it.