Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has given an interview to Ukrainian TV channels.
First of all, he stressed that Ukrainian enterprises which were working in the occupied territories, were actually paying taxes to the Ukrainian budget were the “islands” of Ukrainian presence in occupied part of Donbas.
“Those were the only places where the Ukrainian national currency functioned, where taxes were not paid to the so-called budgets of LDPR or to Russia, they were fully paid to Ukraine. They ensured employment and people clearly knew: those who worked in large Ukrainian enterprises, yet in the occupied territories but under Ukrainian jurisdiction, are Ukraine,” the President emphasized.
“I would say that those were the “islands” of Ukraine. The anchor for this territory to hold on to Ukraine. And of course we were going to use them for reintegration after the return of Donbas to Ukraine. Those were the basic footholds for the return of Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko added.
Beyond that, President thinks that the actions of blockade participants gave an opportunity for the aggressor to justify its actions on the recognition of the so-called passports of LDPR and provided a basis and justification for conveying those enterprises to oligarchs-fugitives or Russian oligarchs. “It has destroyed Ukraine in Donbas. This is a very dangerous strategy, very dangerous actions,” he emphasized.
Poroshenko also claims Blockade HQ refused to negotiate. “They stopped negotiations because they didn’t need them. They need PR, conflict, destabilization of the internal political situation in Ukraine. This is another evidence that the given scenario wasn’t written in Ukraine. And sincere, open, transparent feelings of volunteers who supported those actions were simply used,” the Head of State noted.
Speaking about recent events with suspended Head of State Fiscal Service Roman Nasirov, president said he is proud to be unaware of this case and has no idea about its development, as Anti-Corruption bodies are fully independent and do not inform him about their next steps.
"I am happy that I cannot comment on this case. This is the sign of democratic country," he said.
At the same time, Poroshenko stressed that he wants to deprive MPs, who have two or more foreign nationalities, of Ukrainian citizenship, noting that he has full support of Ukrainian community in this matter.
President also expressed hope that Ukraine will receive $1 billion IMF tranche this March, while Christine Lagarde has personally promised him that decision will be taken.
Describing US-Ukraine relations, Poroshenko said they have fantastic dynamics, reminding that he spoke with President Trump over the phone right after the inauguration and also met with Vice-President Michael Pence.
Finally, Ukrainian President noted that "parliament should hold its regular parliamentary elections in 2019", explaining that Ukraine will use this time to implement much needed reforms.
"As Ukrainian President is the one who takes decision regarding dissolution of parliament, according to Constitution, I want to reassure these opposition leaders that I will not initiate early parliamentary elections, which Russia expects, and will not destabilize the situation," he noted.