Russia will no longer be able to blackmail us as we strengthened our economic independence – Poroshenko

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko believes that rapprochement with the European Union and strengthening of Ukraine's economic independence will not allow the Russian Federation to blackmail it.

"A clear European strategy has given us an opportunity to compensate for the huge losses that we suffered as a result of the politically motivated closure by Russia of its market and transit to third countries for Ukrainian goods. Russia will no longer be able to blackmail us because we have strengthened our economic independence," he stressed, speaking at a military parade in the center of Kyiv on the occasion of the 27th anniversary of Ukraine's independence on Friday.

The president recalled that the Association Agreement and the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union entered into force, and as a result, the share of exports to the EU is now almost 43%, compared with 32% four or five years ago.

"Since the fall of 2016, we have not bought gas from Russia for 1,000 days already. Ukrainian Naftogaz brilliantly beat Gazprom in the Stockholm Arbitration, bringing $4.6 billion to the state pocket. That is how we gain our energy independence," he said.

The president believes that it is necessary to use the wealth of the country in the interests of the people and future generations. "Ukraine must firmly defend its national interests. External help is still important for us, but first of all we have to help ourselves," Poroshenko also noted speaking on Independence Day.