Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says he is convinced that the Kremlin is seeking not only to return Ukraine to its zone of influence, but also to destroy its statehood in order to create Soviet Union 2.0.

"The Kremlin's goal is not only an attempt to force [Ukraine] to return to the so-called zone of Russia's influence, to stop our steady movement towards Europe, its goal is to destroy Ukraine's statehood to create Soviet Union 2.0," he said at a meeting with President of the European Council Donald Tusk in Kyiv on February 18, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

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Poroshenko mentioned a recent act of Russian aggression when Russia's security forces attacked three Ukrainian naval boats near the Kerch Strait on November 25.

"The attack on the Ukrainian boats was absolutely cynical – it was a blatant act of aggression against the Ukrainian Navy, it was an attempt to occupy the Kerch Strait and the Azov-Black Sea basin by the armed forces of the Russian Federation, the border troops of the Russian Federation's Federal Security Service," he said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, Russia's security forces attacked three Ukrainian naval boats in the Black Sea near the Kerch Strait when the vessels were heading for the Sea of Azov on November 25, 2018. The boats were seized, 24 Ukrainian sailors were captured and taken to Moscow for trial. Three of the sailors were wounded.