The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine under the chairmanship of President Petro Poroshenko approved the decision to offer the President of Ukraine the introduction of martial law for a period of 60 days. The NSDC considers it necessary to introduce a special legal regime in Ukraine in order to create conditions for repelling armed aggression and ensuring national security, eliminating threats to independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
"We had a thorough discussion of the Military Cabinet. The Military Cabinet urged me to submit one proposal to the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council - to prepare a decision on the introduction of martial law and appeal to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine so that it reviews the draft decision at its extraordinary meeting as soon as possible. Relevant consultations with the Verkhovna Rada Chairman have already been held," the President said.
The Head of State noted: "I want to emphasize separately that we have all irrefutable evidence that this aggression, this attack on the Ukrainian Navy’s warships was not a mistake, not an accident, but a deliberate action. Including the use of weapons against Ukrainian sailors. The use of weapons had severe consequences, six sailors, according to the preliminary information, were wounded - some of them injured, some of the wounded. Two sailors are severely wounded".
The President stressed that Ukrainian sailors are deprived of an opportunity to come on the radio and establish contact with their command, their destiny is unknown. He noted: "Unfortunately, after qualifying the actions of the Russian Federation, the units of the Black Sea Fleet, the units of the FSB border service as aggression, we do not exclude other operations, including ground-based, against sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine".
"Therefore, as President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, in accordance with the Constitution, I make a decision to support the proposal of the Military Cabinet. To submit the respective decision to the meeting of the National Security and Defense Council and address it to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
"I would like to appeal to the people's deputies to arrive tomorrow in Kyiv for an extraordinary session of the Verkhovna Rada in order to hold a closed discussion of the draft decision and make a responsible decision for the defense of the state," the Head of State said.
He added: "I appeal to the people's deputies to be responsible and gather for an extraordinary session. Believe me, today there is every reason to react in such a manner... And I hope, the Verkhovna Rada will make a responsible decision without a delay tomorrow".
The President also stressed that the introduction of martial law in no way means that Ukraine will carry out any offensive actions. "Ukraine will carry out its actions exclusively for defense of its territory, protection and safety of its citizens," he emphasized.
"Also, this does not mean changes in the situation on the collision line in some districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions and in other areas. But we must be ready to prevent a scenario that the Russian Federation has been practicing in other states," he said.
The President of Ukraine appealed to the leadership of the Russian Federation demanding the immediate release of Ukrainian servicemen who were brutally detained in violation of international law and whose fate is unknown. The President also noted that Ukraine requires to hand them over to the Ukrainian side together with the ships urgently. He called for the de-escalation of the situation both in the Sea of Azov and in other directions. The Head of State expects a quick reaction to this appeal.