During a meeting with the media, President Petro Poroshenko called the today's talks with Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission for Euro and Social Dialogue, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union constructive and effective.
The Head of State stressed that Ukraine was attacked by the Russian aggressor once again when two weeks ago Ukrainian ships were attacked by the Russian fleet.
"I am very grateful for your statement and for the EU’s position in support of my country. Yesterday, we had an opportunity to hear the statement of the European Parliament, which was supported by 433 members of the EP and demonstrated that it was an act of aggression against Ukraine. This is not a provocation, this is not a crisis. This is an act of aggression that falls entirely under UN General Assembly resolution 3314 adopted in 1974," the President said.
"In this situation, we need an adequate response from the whole world: the G7, NATO, the EU, the European Parliament. Support of the European Parliament for the additional sanctions against Russia for the aggression in the Azov and Black Seas helps us begin negotiations in this area," Petro Poroshenko added. He also noted the resolution of the US Congress.
"The decision of the EU Council on extending the EU sanctions against Russia for the non-fulfillment of the Minsk agreements, illegal construction of the Kerch Bridge, holding of illegal so-called elections in the occupied territories of Donbas is also very important. This is unacceptable and we very much appreciate a strong and single position of the EU. If there were doubts earlier, yesterday, after our meeting, we heard a strong position of the whole EU," he said.
The President stressed the need to strengthen international pressure on Russia. "We must call a spade a spade, there is no more place for the ostrich approach. What happened in the Kerch Strait was an open act of aggression. It's time for the EU to acknowledge that. And I really appreciate the words used in the statement of the EP. We have agreed that the same words will be used in the statement of the European Council," the Head of State noted.
Petro Poroshenko thanked Valdis Dombrovskis for the demand on the immediate and unconditional release of 24 Ukrainian sailors, 3 Ukrainian ships and ensuring freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait.
Vice-President of the European Commission Valdis Dombrovskis stressed that the EU will continue to stand on the side of Ukraine in order to stop the conflict in the east and the illegal annexation of Crimea.
"The EU strongly condemns the aggressive actions of Russia in the Sea of Azov against Ukrainian ships and seamen. We urge Russia to release sailors and ships immediately. The EU calls on Russia to provide free navigation through the Kerch Strait for all ships, including EU ships, in accordance with international law," he said.
The Vice-President of the European Commission noted that yesterday's award of the Sakharov Prize to Oleg Sentsov was another expression of the EU’s solidarity with Ukraine. The ceremony in the European Parliament in Strasbourg showed that the EU supports freedom of expression and freedom of thought.