President Petro Poroshenko emphasizes that Ukraine will not make any step further in the settlement of the situation in Donbas until Russia fulfills the security obligations undertaken in the framework of the Minsk agreements.
“I am often blamed. They say that the Ukrainian side continues “to resist” and does not move forward on the political track of the Minsk process. I repeat once and forever: we have already turned the other cheek. Turned so, that hardly stayed alive. No more step further until the Russian side goes its own distance on the security track,” the Head of State noted.
“It is in security where the key to peaceful settlement in Donbas hides today,” the President added.
“And, that is why I have suggested an effective approach – a “roadmap” containing sequence of interlinked steps on political and security tracks with the guarantee of their implementation. We do know very well from the Budapest memorandum what the guarantees are. This cannot happen again,” Petro Poroshenko said.
The President reminded the main requirements to Russia - provide sustainable and comprehensive ceasefire in Donbas; stop supplying its regular army, heavy weapons, ammunition and military equipment to the Ukrainian territory; provide finally unhindered access for the OSCE SMM to the occupied territory of Donbas and Crimea; provide full access for the international observers to the temporarily uncontrolled part of the Ukrainian-Russian border.
“If you ask me what the key indicator of our security is in figures, I will say that it is 409 km 300 m of uncontrolled part of the Ukraine-Russia border. If we close the border, there will be no conflict in Ukraine. Take away the occupational troops, take away weapons and we will reach an agreement and settle everything,” the Head of State said.
“The next demand is stipulated by the Minsk agreements: withdraw Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine, release Ukrainian hostages and political prisoners (Sentsov, Kolchenko, Karpyuk, Klykh, Zhemchugov and dozens of others),” he noted. The President added that there was a great hope they would return Volodymyr Zhemchugov home shortly.
“And this is what the Russian side continues to oppose, trying to prove that Ukraine allegedly does not implement political part of Minsk. This is not true. Contrary to Kremlin, Ukraine implements its commitments,” the President emphasized.
He reminded that Ukraine had adopted the law on the special order of local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the law on amnesty, the legislative act which enlists areas that fall within the notion “certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions”. Amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine on decentralization have been adopted in the 1st reading. Ukraine has also worked out with international partners the modalities of the local elections in Donbas after the implementation of the security conditions.
“Saying in other words the Ukrainian side demonstrated good will, responsibility and made clear steps, aimed at peaceful settlement,” Petro Poroshenko stressed.
On the contrary, Russia hasn’t done anything and tries to shift the blame on somebody else, as stated by the President.
“All this is nothing else but the tactics of “political manipulations” at the table of negotiations and “controlled aggression” on the battlefield, when needed. Repeatedly demonstrated by Russia. And, by the way, not only in Ukraine! You see Middle East, other regions. Before that we saw Transnistria, Abkhazia, Ossetia and many other regions,” he said.
The President noted that the actions of Russia had caused nothing but sufferings in the abovementioned regions. Thus, we must persistently work over the restoration of the Ukrainian sovereignty, Ukrainian flag for them to return to Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk, as stated by Petro Poroshenko.