President of Ukraine

President: At a meeting in the Normandy format Ukraine will raise the issue of the release of Ukrainian hostages and the implementation of the Minsk agreements

10 April 2019 - 20:39

President: At a meeting in the Normandy format Ukraine will raise the issue of the release of Ukrainian hostages and the implementation of the Minsk agreements

"When I will be re-elected, in the first week, the summit of the Normandy format must take place. Several questions will be raised at the Normandy summit. The first question, which should be resolved immediately - Russia has no reason to continue the detention of our prisoners of war. This will be the legal responsibility that the Russian Federation will bear," President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko noted on HB radio.

The Head of State once again stressed that the Russian court does not have any jurisdiction over Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian soldiers. "The act of attack is qualified by international lawyers as an act of military aggression against the warships of a sovereign and independent state," he added.

At the same time, Petro Poroshenko said that before the end of the presidential elections in Ukraine, it is unlikely that the Ukrainians who remain in Russian prisons can be released.

"We must immediately proceed with the introduction of the security component of the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The security component is the issue of the Blue Helmets at the UN Security Council session,” the President also said.

He stressed that it would be a traditional peacekeeping mission that would fulfill several tasks regarding the establishment of a security environment: the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Ukraine, as stipulated by the Minsk agreements; disarming illegal armed groups to create the appropriate security component; withdrawal of heavy weapons and equipment from the territory of Ukraine. According to the President, after this we can talk about the introduction of a political component.

"The most important component is taking control of the uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian border in order to prevent infiltration through the uncontrolled area of the border of forces that will destroy the security component," Petro Poroshenko said.

According to him, there is a worldwide stance that the Blue Helmets should be a traditional peacekeeping mission with the right to use force. "Force will be used against illegal armed groups. Thus, we ensure the security of Ukrainians living in the occupied territory and force out the occupation troops," he explained.

The Head of State also stressed that on the basis of the UN General Assembly resolution, a Ukrainian platform for the de-occupation of Crimea was created. "And the components of this platform are coordinated legal actions, prosecution of the aggressor country for the illegal annexation in the courts on the protection of investments, violation of citizens' rights and freedoms, violation of the Convention on the freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait. We have 11 cases that are clearly coordinated and on which Russia must be brought to justice," he said.

The Head of State reminded that the price paid by Russia as a result of sanctions, according to Bloomberg agency, is $ 150 billion, or 10% of GDP. According to him, today the additional expenditures of Russia on the maintenance of the occupation regime in Crimea and Donbas amount to more than $ 4 billion a year.

"When Putin was waiting for the elections (in Ukraine - ed.), he was waiting for a weak presidential candidate, inexperienced Supreme Commander-in-Chief, so that Russia and Putin would have an opportunity to use him to get out of the trap, which Russians brought themselves into," Petro Poroshenko said.

The President stressed: "The price paid by Russia every month is billions of dollars. It is meaningless”.

"We must ensure a meeting in the Normandy format, which implements the Minsk agreements. Because there are no other agreements on the basis of which sanctions can be applied," Petro Poroshenko said.

Answering the question what will happen, if Russia blocks the decision of the UN Security Council on peacekeepers in Donbas, the Head of State stressed: "There will be increased sanctions. And sanctions will be in very sensitive areas. For example, financial. For example, the arrest of assets of Putin's immediate circle. For example, the prohibition of transfer in sensitive technologies that shape the Russian economy". He added that the Russian economy was strongly integrated into the world. "And if we have a professional approach to this issue, then every month, every quarter, the price of Russian occupation of Ukraine would increase," Petro Poroshenko said.