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Putin Cancels Black Sea Fleet Agreements with Ukraine

Putin Cancels Black Sea Fleet Agreements with Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin terminated all agreements with Ukraine for the use of Crimea for Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. The agreement was signed on 1997 and then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych signed an extension to 2024 in 2010.

According to the Kremlin Press Service, the bill will terminate the following agreements:

the Agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Parameters of the Division of the Black Sea Fleet of May 28, 1997; the Agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Status and Conditions of the Presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Territory of Ukraine of May 28, 1997; the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of Ukraine on Payments Associated with the Division of the Black Sea Fleet and Its Presence on the Territory of Ukraine of May 28, 1997; and the Agreement between  the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the Presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet on the Territory of Ukraine of April 21, 2010.

But on March 16, Crimeans voted to leave Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. The annexation bills were put through Russian parliament on March 18 and Putin signed them on March 21. Ukraine and the West do not recognize the annexation and still consider Crimea an autonomous republic of Ukraine. The Kremlin Press said the annexation bills allow Moscow to cancel these agreements.

Following the signing on March 18, 2014 of the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Crimea on Admitting to the Russian Federation the Republic of Crimea and Establishing the New Constituent Entities within the Russian Federation, the Russian-Ukrainian agreements are no longer of substance now that the legal relations of Russia leasing facilities on Ukrainian territory for the Russian Black Sea Fleet no longer apply.

Proceeding from the above and based on articles 61 and 62 of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the Russian Federation has the right to terminate the above-mentioned bilateral agreements.

Putin introduced the proposal on March 28 to Russia’s parliament. The Duma and Federal Council approved the measure. It will be official on the day the law is published. However, since Ukraine does not recognize the split, Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said Ukraine will not change the agreements.

“In international judicial practice, such actions are unacceptable; such actions are not recognised by international courts. We, for our part, shall not denounce any of these agreements,” he told a press briefing.

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