Poroshenko: Everything Russia does in Ukraine aimed at destroying Ukrainian state
Russia's actions in Ukraine are aimed at destroying the Ukrainian state, and returning it to its sphere of influence, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.
"Everything that Russia is currently doing in Ukraine has one single goal: to return us to its so-called sphere of influence, to destroy the Ukrainian state as such," Poroshenko said during a meeting with heads of diplomatic missions of foreign countries and international organizations accredited in Ukraine on Tuesday evening in Kyiv.
According to him, the most efficient safeguard against the revival of Russia's imperial ambitions is a democratic, successful and independent Ukraine.
Poroshenko also added that it is the Ukrainian army that defends peace, stability and democracy in Europe.
"Attempts to appease the aggressor always lead to its growing appetite and always result in a new aggression. Therefore, the need for a tough, uncompromising rebuff to those who grossly violates the norms of international law is now evident," Poroshenko summed up.
He noted that this year Kyiv will work for the early return to Ukrainian hostages from the occupied Donbas and Crimea and political prisoners held in Russian jails.
"We will continue to pave the way for the reintegration of the occupied Ukrainian lands peacefully, politically and diplomatically," the president stressed.
He recalled that the bill on the restoration of state sovereignty in the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which the Verkhovna Rada is currently considering, is a signal "both for Donbas and Crimea: you are an integral part of Ukraine, and we will do everything possible for you to return home as soon as possible. "