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Ukrainian president moves to end friendship treaty with Russia

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-12-04 09:48
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko addresses soldiers as he inspects military exercises in the Ukrainian Ground Forces training centre near Honcharivske in Chernihiv region, Ukraine, Dec 3, 2018. [Photo/Agencies]

KIEV - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday submitted to parliament a draft law on ending the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia, the parliament's press service said.

The text of the legislation has yet to be published.

In September, Poroshenko signed a decree to enforce a decision by the National Security and Defense Council to terminate the friendship treaty with Russia signed in 1997.

Under the agreement, Kiev and Moscow pledged to respect each other's borders and to peacefully settle disputes.

Relations between Kiev and Moscow, which have been deteriorating since early 2014 over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, escalated last month.

On Nov 25, three Ukrainian ships attempting to sail through the Kerch Strait from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov were seized by Russian forces for allegedly violating the Russian border.

The Ukrainian Navy said that it had informed Russia in advance of the passage, while Russia said it had received no such report and the ships ignored multiple warnings by the Russian border guards.

In the wake of the tensions, Ukraine imposed martial law in 10 regions mainly bordering Russia for 30 days starting from last Wednesday.

Poroshenko emphasized that "martial law does not mean the declaration of war," but a step toward strengthening Ukraine's defense.

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