Poroshenko tells UK eastern Ukraine needs peacekeeping mission
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has reaffirmed the need to deploy a peacekeeping mission for de-escalating tensions in the conflict-ridden Donbas.
Poroshenko made the statement at a meeting with British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Philip Hammond, the presidential press service reported. "The sides agreed that the activity of the OSCE mission to Ukraine should be stepped up," it said.
Moreover, Poroshenko and Hammond emphasized the importance of the Minsk deal observation by all sides. "It would be very dangerous for European partners to look at the situation through rose-tinted glasses and to believe that everything is all right," the Ukrainian president underlined. There are still hostages, among them Nadia Savchenko, the border is yet to be controlled, and foreign troops have yet to be withdrawn from the occupied territories, he said.
Poroshenko also drew Hammond's attention to the situation in the occupied Crimea, where a Crimean Tatar activist has been recently arrested. The sides noted the deterioration of the human rights situation on the peninsula, the press service.
The interlocutors also conferred on economic and defense issues, and the president said that Ukraine counted on further support from the United Kingdom and effective bilateral cooperation. "We are grateful for your contribution to the NATO trust fund. We are happy with our economic collaboration," Poroshenko said.
He urged the UK to ratify the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement.
In turn, Hammond reaffirmed the staunch support to the Ukrainian fight for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
He also said that the EU was ready to back the sanctions policy towards Russia and to expand the sanctions in the case of further escalation of tensions, the press service of the Ukrainian president said.