Treaty on friendship with Russia should not be extended - Zerkal

Treaty on friendship with Russia should not be extended - Zerkal

Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkul believes that the "big treaty" on friendship with Russia should not be extended after the expiration of its validity in April next year, however, there is no need for its immediate denunciation.

She wrote this on Facebook. 

"My position, as in 2014, is that under the current conditions of systemic violation by the Russian Federation of virtually all essential provisions of this treaty, Ukraine cannot agree to extend its effect for the next ten years. The treaty should lose its validity from April 1, 2019," Zerkal said.

She noted that Russian aggression and its consequences had created another reality, which requires new approaches to the settlement of relations with Russia. But, as she noted, this is a matter for the future, since only after the elimination of violations by the Russian Federation will it be possible to return to the conversation about contractual relations between the two countries. "There are no conditions for such talks now," she said.

At the same time, according to Zerkal, there was no need to terminate this agreement in 2014, as its provisions were used in diplomatic and international legal work aimed at reinstating Ukraine's rights violated by Russia. But today the potential of the use of this treaty has been exhausted, and most legal disputes that have arisen between Ukraine and Russia are pending in international courts, she said.

"In a situation when the Russian Federation only pervades the violation of international law by organizing the election of its increasingly less legitimate president in the occupied Crimea, through disrespect for the foundations of law on the part of Russia's sovereign Gazprom, there is no sense in talking about the 'big treaty,'" she said.

The treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between Russia and Ukraine, called "the big treaty," was signed by the presidents of the two countries on May 31, 1997. The countries formally recognized each other's borders and consolidated the principles of strategic partnership and respect for territorial integrity. After the annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the conflict in Donbas there were repeated calls in Ukraine to terminate this treaty due to Russia's violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine.


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