Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the legislation on ending the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia, the presidential press service said on Monday.
The treaty, which has been in place for about two decades, will be terminated on April 1, 2019 amid rising tensions between the two countries. The Ukrainian leader said that the non-extension of the deal is “a part of the Ukrainian strategy of reorientation towards Europe. The bill was approved by the Ukrainian parliament on Thursday, supported by 277 votes, far more than the 226 minimum required.
In September, Poroshenko signed a decree to enforce a decision of the National Security and Defence Council to terminate the friendship treaty with Russia. Under the agreement, which was signed in 1997 and took effect on April 1, 1999, Kiev and Moscow pledged to respect each other’s borders and to peacefully settle disputes. The agreement includes a clause that it automatically extends each ten years if neither of the parties takes actions to end it.
Relations between Kiev and Moscow, which have been deteriorating since early 2014 over Crimea and eastern Ukraine, escalated last month.