KIEV, December 4. /TASS/. The termination of the Treaty on Friendship with Russia can result in difficulties for Ukraine in the future, former Ukrainian Justice Minister Alexander Lavrinovich told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.
"Russia loses nothing in this situation, while Ukraine is creating difficulties for itself, which will emerge in the future, once the standoff [with Russia] is over. Therefore, I believe it would be better to refrain from this step," he said, commenting on President Pyotr Poroshenko’s move to submit the bill on terminating the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia to Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament).
On September 17, Poroshenko signed a decree on enforcing the decision by Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council to terminate the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia. Later on, the Ukrainian Cabinet instructed the Foreign Ministry to notify Russia and international organizations of Kiev’s desire to terminate the treaty by September 27. At the same time, the government instructed Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Justice, Economic Development Ministry and Finance Ministry "to ensure that the Cabinet submits the bill on terminating the treaty with Russia to the president" by October 22.
According to Ukraine’s legislation, now the document should be endorsed by the parliament. On Monday, December 3, Poroshenko submitted the bill on terminating the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia to Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada. The treaty is to be terminated on April 1, 2019. The document specifies that its termination "releases Ukraine from any obligations on abiding by it and affects no rights, responsibilities or legal status of the country, which emerged as a result of abiding by the treaty before its termination."
The Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation was signed in May 1997 and entered into force in April 1999 for a period of ten years with its automatic extension for the next decade on a no-objection basis. October 2018 was the deadline when the parties had to declare their intention to extend the treaty or terminate it.