Ukraine’s parliament tears up military co-operation agreement with Russia

Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday voted to suspend military co-operation with Russia in a long-anticipated move signalling a further break in relations between the once-close partners.

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine’s parliament on Thursday voted to suspend military co-operation with Russia in a long-anticipated move signalling a further break in relations between the once-close partners.

Kyiv also produced what it claimed was fresh confirmation of involvement by Russian intelligence in sowing unrest in breakaway eastern regions, saying it is evidence of continued Russian plans to destabilize Ukraine,

The five co-operation agreements scrapped by the Verkhovna Rada include one giving the Russian military transit rights to reach Moldova, whose territory is partly controlled by a Moscow-supported separatist government.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine plummeted after the overthrow in February 2014 of Moscow-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Russia subsequently annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. Kyiv also accuses Moscow of arming and staffing separatist insurgencies in eastern Ukraine.

Russia staunchly denies it is involved with the armed separatist insurgency in Ukraine.

In turning away from Russia, Ukraine has increasingly reached out for assistance to NATO, an organization the current government hopes the country will eventually join.

Russia has about 1,500 troops stationed in Trans-Dniester, a landlocked separatist strip of Moldova that borders Ukraine. Rescinding the transit rights for those troops creates a logistical problem for Russia and no solution was immediately apparent.

“As it now stands, we have to think about it, find a way. We shouldn’t toss away Trans-Dniester and Moldova,” said Vladimir Komoedov, chairman of the defence committee of the lower house of the Russian parliament, according to the Interfax news agency.

But he said Russia wouldn’t consider retaliatory measures for the time being.

Also Thursday, Ukraine unveiled what it said was new evidence showing that Russian foreign intelligence services have played a decisive role in provoking unrest in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Two Russian citizens captured there over the past week were active officers with Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, Ukrainian Security Service counterintelligence chief Vitaliy Naida said at a press conference.

The service published the names and pictures of 12 other people it said served in the same unit as the captured men.

Naida said the unit ran sabotage operations, planned ambushes for Ukrainian troops, set mines and laid bombs targeting the civilian population.

Russia has confirmed the two paraded on television by Ukrainian authorities are Russian citizens and that they were formerly in the military, but says they are no longer in active service and went to Ukraine as volunteers.

In video statements posted by the Ukrainian Security Service, the men say they were taking part in a reconnaissance operation in the Luhansk region Saturday when they were fired on, wounded and captured. Both say they were members of an army brigade based in the Russian city of Togliatti and had been deployed in Ukraine for more than a month.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read