Poroshenko signs decree to halt friendship treaty with Russia

Poroshenko signs decree to halt friendship treaty with Russia

Poroshenko signs an official document in a photo in 17 September Facebook post.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has moved to halt a major a friendship treaty Ukraine has had with Russia for more than 20 years. On 17 September, Poroshenko signed a decree of the country’s National Security and Defense Council to halt the effect of the Agreement on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and the Russian Federation for 10 years, according to statement on the Presidential Administration’s website.

The friendship treaty was signed on 31 May 1997 in Kiev by then Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and his Russian counterpart Boris Yeltsin. The signing came at a time when NATO was looking to expand eastward, sparking concerns in Moscow. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry will send a note informing the Russian side of its intent to halt the treaty by 30 September, according to the Presidential statement. The president will also initiate a draft law on the matter in the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.

Meanwhile, the Russian Orthodox Church has formally suspended ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople - the leading church of the Eastern Orthodox faith - after the Patriarch of Constantinople appointed two bishops to go to Kiev and lay the groundwork for approving formal independence for Ukraine’s church from the Russian Orthodox Church.



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