14:44 15.03.2017

Law enforcers to detain all blockade activists carrying weapons – Poroshenko

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that law enforcement officers will detain all members of the trade blockade with occupied territories if they are found to be carrying weapons.

"We will always respect peaceful protesters even though we may not share their demands. However, if anyone responds to the organizers' call for carrying weapons and goes there with rifles, Molotov cocktails, explosives or grenades for blowing up railroad tracks, as the thrill-seeking organizers have repeatedly promised us, they will be detained and held liable even if they identify themselves as patriots," Poroshenko said at a Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council meeting on Wednesday.

The president expressed regret that a political force that considers itself "democratic, liberal and reform-minded" had created the chaotic situation in the Anti-terrorism Operation (ATO) zone.

"Take and do – that's not honest and scurrilous behavior with regard to the nation. Can we really in such a manner distract attention from the failures of our leader, who for two and a half mayoral terms has not been able to solve the most pressing communal issue and is scattering garbage in the most beautiful city of Ukraine," Poroshenko said, [referring to Lviv Mayor and Samopomich Party faction head Andriy Sadovy].

The president also expressed indignation with events involving confrontations between blockade activists and law enforcement officers.

"Last night I saw a disgraceful video clip. How they beat up new policemen, how they tried to take away their weapons, demeaned police officers, who are veterans of military service, thinking that they wouldn't raise their hand against a parliament deputy," the president said.

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