Monday, October 24 2016 19:40 EEST
Ukraine
Poroshenko: Everyone can criticize Minsk, but nobody offers an alternative, except for leaving territories forever
Poroshenko, Minsk agreements, elections, Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Donbas, Russia, OSCE armed mission, roadmap, EU

Petro Poroshenko emphasized that local elections in the occupied districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions will be preceded by the fulfillment of all security conditions of the Minsk agreements.

“For today, we have Ukrainian proposals regarding the roadmap where we have clearly stated that the security package must precede the political one,” the President noted. He added that local elections must be approved by the Ukrainian Parliament as well.

“First of all, we must create security conditions, fulfill the security part of the agreements: ensure ceasefire, separation, functioning and access of the OSCE, inter alia, up to the border, ensure technical verification, liberation of hostages and only after that we can consider the approval of electoral legislation,” Petro Poroshenko emphasized.

“There will be no parallels. Security component first, political component second,” he added.

The Head of State noted that the expression of will of citizens must be free and democratic. For this end, we must create conditions. “We must create conditions for these elections. For today, Ms. Merkel, Mr. Steinmeier, leaders of many EU states have stated: there are no conditions for the elections in Donbas. This is clear support of Ukraine’s position,” the President stressed.

Petro Poroshenko stated that a huge number of Russian troops and military equipment was present in the occupied areas of Donbas at the moment.

“That is why, at the first stage before the elections, we must ensure control over the border by the OSCE armed mission. This is provided for by Minsk. The OSCE armed mission’s control must terminate the infiltration of Russian troops and armament,” the Head of State said.

“On the second day after the elections, we must ensure control over the border by the Ukrainian military. This is already provided for by Minsk and this is included in the roadmap with clear date and responsibility,” the President added.

“Everyone can criticize Minsk, but nobody offers an alternative, except for leaving these territories forever for the aggressor. As President and guarantor of the Constitution and territorial integrity of Ukraine, I will not let anyone throw Ukrainian lands around. This is related both to Donbas and Crimea,” the President noted.

The Head of State refuted the myth that Ukraine had been under pressure during negotiations and the parties had wanted to “exchange Ukraine for Syria”. “I clearly emphasize that Ukraine is absolutely independent in the decision-making process. I will never let anyone put pressure on me, or on Ukraine. Ukraine enjoys full support of our partners and allies Germany and France. There is no exchange of Ukrainian positions for Syria,” the President noted adding that Ukraine had proved that it fulfilled all its obligations and Russia did not.

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