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Hype over ending friendship treaty with Russia turns into soap opera in Ukraine — analyst

KIEV, December 4. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko’s bill on severing the treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between Ukraine and Russia, submitted to parliament, is aimed at achieving another ostensible information victory, Ukrainian political analyst Ruslan Bortnik said on Tuesday.

“The bill on terminating the friendship treaty with Russia is a technical move, which the authorities hope to convert into another information victory,” Bortnik said on Facebook.

In any case the treaty will stay in effect till April 1, 2019, but the fuss over severing it has long been turned into a political soap opera, which causes no effect on the Ukrainians’ life but has merely distracted their attention for the past four years.

Treaty on friendship

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko on September 17 signed a decree to enforce the decision made by the National Security and Defense Council on the termination of the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers later instructed the Foreign Ministry to notify Russia and international organizations of Kiev’s intention to terminate the treaty with Russia by September 27. The government asked the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and Ministry of Finance to see to it the Cabinet of Ministers submits the presidential bill on terminating the treaty with Russia for consideration by October 22.

Under Ukrainian legislation the treaty is now to be approved by the Ukrainian parliament.

On Monday, December 3, Poroshenko submitted to parliament an urgent bill on terminating the treaty on friendship, cooperation and partnership between Ukraine and Russia by April 1, 2019. This move will “relieve Ukraine of any obligations under the treaty and have no influence on the country’s rights, obligations or legal status resulting from compliance with the treaty.”

The treaty on 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 is to be prolonged automatically for another ten years, provided neither party has any objections. October 2018 was the deadline for the signatories to declare their intention to discontinue the treaty or prolong it for another ten-year period.

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