Disinfo: Constitution bans foreign troops in Ukraine


Article 17 of the Ukrainian Constitution bans foreign troops in Ukraine.


This is a recurring disinformation narrative from pro-Kremlin outlets aimed against Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic integration. In reality, the last paragraph of Article 17 of the Constitution reads:

“The deployment of foreign military bases is not allowed on Ukrainian territory.”

This excerpt says nothing about other aspects of military co-operation. It does not forbid joint military exercises, high-profile military negotiations, or other forms of military interaction with Ukraine's Western partners, particularly NATO member states.

Article 18 of the Ukrainian Constitution reads:

”The foreign political activity of Ukraine is aimed at ensuring its national interests and security by maintaining peaceful and mutually beneficial co-operation with members of the international community, according to generally acknowledged principles and norms of international law.”

Kyiv’s Euro-Atlantic course is in full correspondence with this article because its multi-faceted co-operation with foreign partners and allies enhances Ukraine’s defence capabilities and guarantees it peace and stability rather than provoking aggression. Ukraine’s future membership of NATO and the European Union is enshrined in its Constitution. A relevant amendment was signed in 2019 by the then-President Petro Poroshenko.

Kyiv established relations with NATO in the early 1990s. Ukrainian troops have been participating in Sea Breeze exercises since their launch in 1997. In the wake of Russian aggression in 2014, cooperation has been boosted in critical areas including intensified joint military exercises. This year’s Sea Breeze war games took place from June 28 to July 10 2021 in the Black Sea region. They had the largest number of participating nations in the exercises’ history with 32 countries from six continents providing 5,000 troops, 32 ships, 40 aircraft, and 18 special operations and dive teams.

For comparison and in terms of NATO military bases, not all member states have them on their territory.

Read more disinformation narratives claiming that NATO and Ukrainian troops are striving to destroy Donbas and that the Alliance is waging an aggressive policy towards Russia.


  • Reported in: Issue 255
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 12/08/2021
  • Article language(s) Russian
  • Countries and/or Regions discussed in the disinformation: Ukraine, Russia
  • Keywords: NATO, EU/NATO enlargement, War in Ukraine, Military
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