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Poroshenko: "Solidarity with Ukraine is question of values"

Vera TellmannNovember 9, 2015

Ahead of talks about the implementation of the Minsk Agreement, Poroshenko voiced support for the peace plan. In an interview with DW, he compared the Russian annexation of Crimea to the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938.

Petro Poroschenko bei Conflict Zone
Image: DW

"Nobody can be against Minsk," Poroshenko told DW, continuing: "Minsk is ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy artillery weapons, releasing all the hostages." The Ukrainian President also demanded "immediate access for OSCE inspectors to any territory or any place" where weapons were kept or suspected. Poroshenko talked about his hopes for improving the humanitarian crisis and the social and economic development of the territory. He called for free and fair elections: "Let the people who live in Donetsk and Luhansk elect their representative."

The Ukrainian president said his government was living up to its commitments for the peace plan: "It is not me (…) missing the deadline. Because Ukraine is a very responsible state and (a) very responsible part of the Minsk Agreement. (…) We do everything we promise. (…) We are fully co-operating with the OSCE. (…) We are fully implementing (the) Minsk Agreement."

Asked if Europe was possibly more concerned about offending Russia than supporting Ukraine, Poroshenko said: "Values unite Europe. Solidarity with Ukraine is a question of values."

Poroshenko compared the Russian annexation of Crimea to the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938: "The situation in Crimea is a complete 'Anschluss', is annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory, a brutal violation of international law. (...) At the end of the day, the international law and order should be restored." Poroshenko rejected the assumption that Crimea was lost forever: "If we accept and recognize it that means that it would be the complete violation and ruin the global security system. (…) That would be exactly the same like in the year 1938."

The Ukrainian president stated that EU sanctions against Moscow were working. "Russia (is) paying already a huge price for the brutal violation and this huge price is the sanctions, this huge price is the situation in economy, this huge price is the situation with the (currency) reserve," Poroshenko said, adding: "This is (a) huge price with the subsidy (that Russia) should give to Crimea and it cannot last forever. And let's be realistic, (…) of course Russia is a powerful state but if the world accepts the aggression, the world (will) never be the same because this is just to symbolize that the global security system which was created after (…) World War II is not working. And this is not just a question of territory or integrity or economy - this is a question of global security."

On transforming his country and eventually gaining NATO membership, Poroshenko predicted that in "six, seven, eight years the world would be completely different and the NATO today is the only effective security system because all other system is ruined - ruined by Russian occupation and aggression both in Ukraine, in Syria and possibly in any other country."

The full interview with Tim Sebastian will air on DW's "Conflict Zone" on Wednesday, November 11, at 17.30 UTC, and will be available online on demand.