Ukraine re­jects ex­tend­ing friend­ship treaty with Rus­sia

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Regional -

IN bid to in­crease fur­ther ten­sions, the Ukrainian parliament, voted on Thurs­day not to ex­tend the coun­try’s treaty of friend­ship with Rus­sia, af­ter it ter­mi­nates on April 1, 2019. A total of 277 par­lia­men­tar­i­ans out of 450 voted to ter­mi­nate the treaty by al­low­ing it to ex­pire.

The Rus­sia-Ukraine Treaty on Friend­ship, Co­op­er­a­tion and Part­ner­ship, signed in 1997, obliges Rus­sia and Ukraine to “re­spect the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of each other and con­firm in­vi­o­la­bil­ity of cur­rent mu­tual bor­ders,” as re­ported by RFE/RL.

Re­la­tions be­tween the two neigh­bors have been strained fur­ther fol­low­ing a Nov. 25 in­ci­dent in which the Rus­sian coast guard fired upon and seized three Ukrainian naval ves­sels and their crews off the Crimean Penin­sula that Rus­sia an­nexed from Ukraine. Ukrainian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko re­sponded by in­tro­duc­ing mar­tial law for 30 days in much of Ukraine. For the du­ra­tion of mar­tial law, Ukrainian au­thor­i­ties barred en­try to all Rus­sian males aged 16 to 60 in a move the Ukrainian leader said was needed to pre­vent Rus­sia from fur­ther desta­bi­liz­ing the coun­try.

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan on Fri­day said that he ex­pects “pos­i­tive” steps from Rus­sia and Ukraine to re­solve re­cent ten­sions be­tween the two coun­tries. Speak­ing to re­porters in Istanbul, Pres­i­dent Er­doğan said: “I held a phone con­ver­sa­tion with [Rus­sian Pres­i­dent] Mr. [Vladimir] Putin in this re­gard, held an in­ter-com­mit­tee meeting in Ar­gentina and I also spoke with [Ukrainian Pres­i­dent] Mr. [Petro] Poroshenko over the phone.” “I hope they [Rus­sia and Ukraine] will have a pos­i­tive ap­proach,” Er­doğan said, and added “I think there is an in­ves­ti­ga­tion go­ing on” over the de­ten­tion of Ukrainian sailors. “We can only make a re­quest, we can­not go fur­ther,” Pres­i­dent added.

Fol­low­ing the naval con­fronta­tion in the Black Sea, an un­armed U.S. Air Force plane with Amer­i­can and in­ter­na­tional ob­servers flew a spe­cial flight over Ukraine Thurs­day in a show of sol­i­dar­ity with Ukraine. In a state­ment, the Pen­tagon called it an “ex­tra­or­di­nary” flight un­der the Open Skies Treaty, which is an in­ter­na­tional ac­cord that gives each mem­ber coun­try the right to con­duct, and the obli­ga­tion to ac­cept, un­armed mil­i­tary ob­ser­va­tion flights. Eric Pa­hon, a Pen­tagon spokesman, said this was the first “ex­tra­or­di­nary” Open Skies flight since 2014 in re­sponse to Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of Crimea.

The move came af­ter the Pen­tagon’s re­quest from Tur­key for the in­tent to send a war­ship into the Black Sea through the Bosporus and the Dar­danelles. The tran­sit would be an­other sig­nal of mil­i­tary sup­port for Ukraine. U.S. Navy ships rou­tinely sail in and out of the Black Sea, and un­der in­ter­na­tional rules are only al­lowed to stay in the wa­ters for 21 days. The most re­cent was the fast trans­port ship USNS Car­son City, in Septem­ber. Of­fi­cials wouldn’t say which ship would make the pas­sage in mid-De­cem­ber.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Turkey

© PressReader. All rights reserved.