THURSDAY, APRIL 25, 2019
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Ukraine to quit CIS, end Russia treaty
Journal Staff Report

KYIV, April 13 - President Petro Poroshenko has announced plans to quit the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and terminate parts of a friendship treaty with Russia, RFE/RL reported.

Poroshenko urged the government to present a proposal to lawmakers on Ukraine's full withdrawal from the CIS, which Kyiv has been an associate member of since the group was formed following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

"Ukraine has never been a [full] member of the CIS and [given] CIS's failure to denounce Russia's aggression [in Ukraine], I would ask that we, together with the government, produce a proposal regarding an official termination of our participation in the statutory organs of the CIS," Poroshenko said at security forum in Kyiv on Thursday.

Poroshenko also told the forum that he would propose a draft bill before parliament for "an immediate and unilateral termination of individual articles" of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Ukraine and Russia that were "incompatible with [Ukraine's] national interests and its right to self-defense."

Ukraine has been fighting against Russia-backed separatists in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk since April 2014, after Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

Although Moscow denies interfering in Ukraine's domestic affairs, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in November 2016 determined the conflict to be "an international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation."

The conflict has left more than 10,300 people dead and some 1.6 million people displaced.

Full members of the CIS include Russia and eight former Soviet republics -- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Ukraine and Russia have suspended or terminated 44 mutual agreements since 2014 when Russia has begun its aggression in 2014, according to Deputy Foreign Minister for European Integration Olena Zerkal.

"Before 2014, Ukraine and Russia had 451 international agreements signed. After the start of the armed aggression 44 of them were terminated, she said. (rfe/ez)

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