KIEV, April 3. /TASS/. The Kiev authorities’ decision to terminate the Friendship Treaty with Russia, which expired on April 1, is a strategic mistake, Chairman of the Political Council of the ‘Opposition Platform - For Life’ party Viktor Medvedchuk said on Wednesday.
"Starting from April 1, the large-scale treaty between Ukraine and Russia ceased to exist. This is one of major strategic mistakes of the Kiev authorities over the past five years," Medvedchuk said, according to 112 Ukraine TV channel's website.
The politician insists that the decision has turned Ukraine into the only European country, which has not sorted out the border issue with its neighbor state, leaving millions of Ukrainians working in Russia without legal support and protection.
Along with the Friendship Treaty, hundreds of legal acts were abolished, which facilitate social, economic and humanitarian ties between the two countries. Medvedchuk highlights that Russia and Ukraine have common history and most citizens are proud of it.
Latest opinion polls carried out in late February indicate that 57% of Ukrainian citizens favor good relations with Russia. There is a growing number of Ukrainians, who believe that the ban on Russian television, cinema, Internet resources and also visits of celebrities violates their constitutional rights. "Most Ukrainians view this negatively," Medvedchuk said.
Russia and Ukraine signed the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership in May 1997. The document, which entered into force in April 1999 for a term of ten years, could be automatically extended for ten-year periods provided the parties did not object. The document enshrines strategic partnership between the two countries and mutual obligations not to use one’s territory to harm the other’s security, as well as recognizes the inviolability of existing borders. In September 2018, Kiev officially notified Moscow that it would not extend the treaty.