Russia can escalate situation in Ukraine at any moment - Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko says Russia might try to escalate the situation in the country at any moment.
"Putin has so many troops in Ukraine that he can contribute to the escalation of the situation at any moment. I have told Chancellor Merkel once: Can you imagine that there are more tanks in the east of Ukraine now than the Bundeswehr has? Over 600 tanks are deployed within this small territory," Poroshenko said in an interview with Bild, according to the president's press service.
Read alsoUkrainian Foreign Ministry responded to Lavrov's statement on "scrapping" Minsk agreementsThe president emphasized that the most difficult period was in February 2015 when almost 25 Ukrainian soldiers were being killed daily by Russian regular troops. "We spent 19 hours in Minsk without sleep, without food. Then, the agreement was reached, and this wouldn't have happened without the support of Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel," he stressed.
"We, Ukrainians, are grateful to her for that, as the situation was extremely difficult at the time," he noted.
At the same time, Poroshenko added: "However, as the whole world knows: president of Russia doesn't keep the undertaken promises. He always facilitates another escalation when he wants to."
Read alsoPutin has no idea what to do with Donbas – PoroshenkoAccording to Poroshenko, after the conclusion of the Minsk agreements, 824 people were killed in the war.
The president also answered the question about the ongoing German discussion regarding the possibility of lifting sanctions against Russia. Particularly, about the opinion of President of FC Bayern Mr. Hoeness implying that he reflects with Putin's politics. "These people are either insufficiently informed or naive. It is that simple: we are not part of the Russian empire, we are a sovereign country. I think people like Mr. Hoeness should visit Ukraine once -- not Kyiv but the east of Ukraine. Then he'd understand that it is about one and only thing: Putin must withdraw his troops from Ukraine," Poroshenko emphasized.
The president also answered the question on Russia holding the FIFA World Cup: "It is up to football fans to decide whether to visit Russia or not given the Russian aggression in Ukraine and Syria."
Read alsoPoroshenko enacts additional measures to counter Russian propaganda"I would like the whole world to send a common signal and demonstrate beyond the limits of the political discourse that we do not accept such a policy. Look what is happening with the Olympic Games: Russia doesn't follow the rules there as well, that is why it wasn't allowed to participate. Russian leaders think they can break any rules in any directions," he said.
The president stressed the important global role of Germany and expressed hope that the coalition agreement of the future Federal Government would have a clear position as regards Ukraine.
"Putin is always happy to see any signs of political instability anywhere. Instability is what he is trying to create anywhere where democracy prevails. It is important not only for Europe, but also for the whole world that Germany forms the Government as soon as possible. I was glad to see a precise wording on Ukraine in the text of the coalition agreement. Members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany who are currently discussing the issues of membership in this coalition should not forget about Germany's important role in the world," Poroshenko said.