Ukraine terminates diplomatic ties with Russia. What does it mean?

Aftermath of Ukraine's decision to break diplomatic ties with Russia

On February 24, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a military operation against Ukraine in the morning of February 24. Russia launched the operation to demilitarise and denazify Ukraine, Putin said.

The purpose of the operation is to protect the people who suffer from bullying and genocide that the Kiev regime is conducting against them, Putin also said.

In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations from 1961 (the key document that regulates diplomatic relations between the countries of the world — ed.), in the event of a termination of diplomatic relations between two states:

  • the receiving state must, even in the event of an armed conflict, respect and protect the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives. This means that Russia and Ukraine will have to ensure the safety of both the buildings and the property of their embassies and other diplomatic facilities;
  • the accrediting state may entrust the protection of the premises of its mission, together with its property and archives, to a third state.

In 2008, Moscow severed diplomatic relations with Georgia, having recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Russian embassy in Georgia, and the Georgian embassy in Russia do not operate. Switzerland exercises the mandate to represent Russia's interests in Georgia and Georgia's interests in Russia. A similar situation will now happen to Ukraine.There is no visa regime between Russia and Ukraine. At the same time, Russian citizens will be able to stay in Ukraine and vice versa, no one will be deport.

However, the rupture of diplomatic relations does not mean the rupture of all agreements in general. Russia and Ukraine have concluded 231 agreements over the period of 30 years, experts at the Center for Advanced Management Decisions said.

Russia and Georgia still maintain about 50 bilateral agreements. Russia and Georgia terminated only two agreements after the August conflict in 2008:

  • on the procedure for the temporary operation and withdrawal of Russian military bases located on the territory of Georgia,
  • on the transit of military cargo and personnel through the territory of Georgia.

Georgia also announced its withdrawal from the Commonwealth of Independent States and exited the organisation in 2009.

  • Iran, Bhutan, North Korea and Syria do not have diplomatic relations with the United States.
  • Cuba had no diplomatic relations with the United States from 1961 to 2015. The interests of the two countries were represented by the Embassy of Switzerland.
  • On February 23, 2019, Venezuela severed diplomatic relations with Colombia.
  • On June 5, 2017, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Qatar.

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Author`s name Editorial Team
Editor Dmitry Sudakov