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Ukraine Parliament Votes to End Russia Friendship Treaty

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Ukraine’s parliament has approved a motion presented by President Petro Poroshenko to end the country’s Treaty of Friendship with Russia.

As many as 277 out of 450 lawmakers on Thursday voted in favor of the motion. The bill required a minimum 226 votes to pass.

The approved motion implies that Ukraine will not seek to renew the friendship treaty after it expires on March 31, 2019.

The treaty, which was signed in 1997, established a strategic partnership between the two countries.

The agreement called for Moscow and Kiev to "respect the territorial integrity of each other and confirm [the] inviolability of current mutual borders."

The pact further urged the two countries to embrace relations "based on principles of mutual respect of sovereign equality, inviolability of borders, peaceful resolution of differences, without use of force or threat to use force."

Also on Thursday, the parliament adopted another additional bill unilaterally doubling Ukraine's territorial waters to 24 nautical miles, claiming that the measure seeks to increase the navy's operational efficiency.

Ukraine’s withdrawal from the treaty and unilateral doubling of territorial waters comes as the two countries are locked in political and territorial dispute.

On November 25, Russia seized three Ukrainian navy vessels in the Kerch Strait situated between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, accusing the ships of illegally entering its territorial waters.

Tensions have since risen, with Kiev imposing martial law in its border regions and barring Russian “men of fighting age” from entering the country.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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