This informative article shows that International treaties have to be consistent with national and international law if they have to represent the interests of the country and its people.
On the 21st of April 2010 in the city of Kharkiv in Ukraine, President Victor F. Yanukovich of Ukraine and President Dmitry A. Medvedev of the Russian Federation signed The Agreement where the period of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation to remain on the territory of Ukraine is extended for 25 years, from 2017 to 2042 with an automatic prolongation for 5 additional years.
In Ukraine, The Agreement caused indignation of the opposition, of parties of ecologists, of local Councils and in general of all segments of the Ukrainian society. A great number of analyses concluded that The Agreement contradicts the Constitution of Ukraine.
The Association of Independent Jurists and Journalists “The Democratic Space” decided to examine The Agreement and the legal grounds both for The Agreement and against it. The research focused on whether The Agreement fell in compliance with the applicable standards established by the current Ukrainian legislation and binding norms of the International Law. So, the whole article of this is based on the findings of the Association’s “Analysis of The Agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation pertaining to questions of presence of The Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine”.
The current Ukrainian and International laws that apply to this Agreement are:
1. The Constitution of Ukraine.
2. An agreement (named the Basic Agreement) between Ukraine and the Russian Federation “On the Status and Conditions for the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation to Remain on the Territory of Ukraine” dated 28.05.1997.
3. An agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation “On Parameters of the Black Sea Fleet Division” dated 28.05.1997.
4. An Agreement between the Governments of Ukraine and of the Russian Federation “On Mutual Calculations Related to the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation Division and to Remaining on the Territory of Ukraine” dated 28.05.1997.
5. The Law of Ukraine “On the International Treaties of Ukraine” dated 29.06.2004.
6. The Law of Ukraine “On the Order of Access and Conditions for Sub-Units of the Armed Forces of Foreign States to Remain on the Territory of Ukraine” dated 22.02.2000.
7. The Vienna Convention “On the Law of Treaties” of 1969.
An Examination in the aforementioned Analysis by the Association’s President determined that:
1. The Law of Ukraine “On the International Treaties of Ukraine”. foresaw that an International treaty of Ukraine might be extended due to the conditions established by the treaty itself;
2. The aforementioned Basic Agreement, concluded for a period of 20 years, by Article 25 envisages its prolongation only for 5 year periods providing that the period of its effect would be further automatically prolongated for subsequent 5 year periods unless any of the parties advised the other party in writing of the termination of the Basic Agreement’s effect no later than a year before an expiration of the Agreement’s period of validity”. It means that, from the day of an expiration of the valid 20 year period, the term could be extended only in 5 year increments.
In our case, as we see, the 20 year validity term of the aforementioned Basic Agreement, did not come to an end and hence as it is obviously seen, the legal grounds for its prolongation did not exist in 2010. Since the Basic Agreement does not foresee a prolongation of the agreement for more than a 5 year period, its prolongation for a period of 25 years by The Agreement, does not have any valid grounds.