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Ukraine to raise question of Ukrainian hostages release at Normandy format meeting, - Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko noted that the Ukrainians kept in Russia’s prisons are unlikely to be released till the end of the presidential elections in Ukraine
13:24, 11 April 2019

Petro Poroshenko, the President of Ukraine
112 Agency

Ukraine will raise the question of the release of the Ukrainian hostages on the meeting in “the Normandy format” and implementation of Minsk Agreements, as President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said, the press office of the Head of the State reported.

When I will be re-elected, in the first week, the summit of the Normandy format must take place. Several questions will be raised at the Normandy summit. The first question, which should be resolved immediately - Russia has no reason to continue the detention of our prisoners of war. This will be the legal responsibility that the Russian Federation will bear," President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said on HB radio.

Poroshenko stressed that the Russian court has no jurisdiction over the Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian servicemen.

Related: Moscow opened for dialogue with Kyiv on Minsk Agreements, - Russia's Foreign Minister

"The act of attack is qualified by international lawyers as an act of military aggression against the warships of a sovereign and independent state," he added.

At the same time, Petro Poroshenko noted that the Ukrainians kept in Russia’s prisons are unlikely to be released till the end of the presidential elections in Ukraine.

"We must immediately proceed with the introduction of the security component of the implementation of the Minsk agreements. The security component is the issue of the Blue Helmets at the UN Security Council session,” Poroshenko said.

He stressed that it was about a traditional peacekeeping mission which has to perform some tasks on creation of secure environment – withdraw all foreign troops from Ukraine, as Minsk Agreements say; disarm of the illegal armed formations to create a relevant safe component; withdraw heavy weapons and equipment. The Head of the State noted that then, the political component might be introduced.

Related: Russian media not allowed to enter polling station in Minsk

"The most important component is taking control of the uncontrolled section of the Ukrainian-Russian border in order to prevent infiltration through the uncontrolled area of the border of forces that will destroy the security component," the President said.

According to him, there is a worldwide positions that the Blue Helmets must be a traditional peacekeeping mission with a right to use force.

"Force will be used against illegal armed groups. Thus, we ensure the security of Ukrainians living in the occupied territory and force out the occupation troops," Poroshenko explained.

The President also stressed that Ukraine’s platform on the de-occupation of Crimea was created on the basis of the UN General Assembly resolution.

"And the components of this platform are coordinated legal actions, prosecution of the aggressor country for the illegal annexation in the courts on the protection of investments, violation of citizens' rights and freedoms, violation of the Convention on the freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait. We have 11 cases that are clearly coordinated and on which Russia must be brought to justice," Poroshenko said.

Related: Members of Minsk Agreement do not have political will to implement them, - Greminger

He reminded that the price Russia pays as a result of sanctions makes $150 million, which is 10% GDP, according to Bloomberg.

"When Putin was waiting for the elections (in Ukraine - ed.), he was waiting for a weak presidential candidate, inexperienced Supreme Commander-in-Chief, so that Russia and Putin would have an opportunity to use him to get out of the trap, which Russians brought themselves into," Petro Poroshenko stated.

"We must ensure a meeting in the Normandy format, which implements the Minsk agreements. Because there are no other agreements on the basis of which sanctions can be applied," the President added.

Related: Crimean court extends arrest of political prisoner Bekirov for another two months

Answering the question of what will happen if Russia blocks the decision of the UN Security Council concerning the peacekeepers in Donbas, the Head of the State stressed:

"There will be increased sanctions. And sanctions will be in very sensitive areas. For example, financial. For example, the arrest of assets of Putin's immediate circle. For example, the prohibition of transfer in sensitive technologies that shape the Russian economy". He added that the Russian economy was strongly integrated into the world. "And if we have a professional approach to this issue, then every month, every quarter, the price of the Russian occupation of Ukraine would increase”.

Related: Ukraine's political prisoner Gryb eats, takes medicine

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