Ukraine leader vows to impose martial law if peace process derails
President Petro Poroshenko on Monday promised to declare martial law "immediately" if the peace process in eastern Ukraine is reversed.
"It was the theme of the latest two meetings of the National Security and Defense Council that a special scenario is being drafted to put the economy on a wartime footing, with exact instructions to be given to local authorities concerning their functions in such a special period and a clear plan of what we'd have to do. If the peace process derails and full-scale armed aggression is unleashed or continues, I can promise you that martial law will be declared immediately," Poroshenko told a news conference in Kyiv.
"At the moment there's nothing that can prevent us from taking effective action: we have plans ready, we have assignments ready for each senior official, minister, governor. The work of coordination would be the job of the National Security and Defense Council, there are all necessary legal documents on setting up a supreme command headquarters. That is exactly why we've been asking so persistently for the budget to be passed – we believe that very high risks remain. Restoring the battle-readiness of the Ukrainian armed forces is my priority," he said.
"I would immediately impose martial law by decree, and a decision to that effect of the National Security and Defense Council will be handed over to the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] as soon as offensive operations started along the line of contact. Let nobody have any doubt about this for a minute," the president said.