In an exclusive interview with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, the leader spoke to euronews about the upcoming EU summit and what position the union should adopt towards Russia to bring about a resolution to the situation in his country:
“This is a very important test for the European Union. On the one hand the Russians talk about the money, the Russians talk about the money, the cost of the sanctions and everything. The EU and Ukraine talk about values and these are two completely different worlds, values and money. I am absolutely sure that the European Union and all the leaders of the member states will pass this test.
What do we expect? We expect the EU to maintain unity and that will exist not only within the EU, but with the whole world, the US, Canada, Japan, Australia and Switzerland. That’s the whole world engaged in responsible behaviour. We are expecting a very, very strong statement that if Russia doesn’t meet the Minsk agreement, if Russia does not leave Crimea, sanctions will be rolled over or expanded.”
“Are you afraid that Crimea could become a military hub?”
President Petro Poroshenko:“It’s already a military hub, as far as I understand from the statement of the Russian President that they placed missiles there, which are capable of carrying nuclear weapons. And I think that this is…. again this is not a question of Ukrainian independence or Ukrainian sovereignty over Crimea. This is increasing significantly the danger of a full-scale conflict in the Black Sea region. Because these missiles have a range of 500 kilometers that can easily reach several NATO member states and that should prompt a certain reaction. Another problem in Crimea is the humanitarian situation there. This is a brutal violation of human rights. The whole aboriginal nation, the Crimean Tartars, with a number of more than 300,000 people are under very severe pressure. The leaders of these people are under arrest in Russian prisons or are prohibited, like during the Stalin era, to enter Crimea.”
You can see the full interview on euronews, Thursday evening CET.