Kremlin again trying to convince EU of Ukraine's inability to extend law on Donbas special status
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Russia is again trying to convince the European community of Ukraine's inability to extend the law on the special status of local self-government in occupied Donbas. He said this should not be allowed.
"Last year, the unpleasant surprise for the Kremlin was the fact that Ukraine's parliament extended the law 'On the Special Status of Local Self-government in Certain Areas of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions.' It was you, dear people's deputies, who knocked the trump card out of Putin's hands," Poroshenko said on Thursday, delivering his annual message about the internal and external situation of Ukraine.
The president said Russia was forced to adjust its tactics, but has again "pulled out this beaten map."
"The Kremlin and its henchmen are once again trying to convince the European community that the Ukrainian side is not ready to extend the law, which, according to Russia, is proof of Ukraine's inability to meet its obligations. That's their argument for why sanctions should be lifted. It would be a criminal mistake to give Moscow a chance to blame Ukraine for failing to comply with the agreements and ease sanctions pressure. I'm absolutely sure that this is definitely not a Ukrainian scenario," Poroshenko said.
The president said the risk of mitigating EU sanctions against Russia exists, but the fact that Russia is so aggressively fighting sanctions only testifies to the fact that they are working.
"Because the ruble is falling even with the growth of oil prices, because the Russian government is forced to raise the retirement age and value-added taxes. This is the price of aggression," Poroshenko said.