Avakov: We are ready to provide security for all presidential candidates
Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has promised to provide police protection to presidential candidates during the election campaign to protect them.
"We are ready to ensure protection for the front-running candidates. Many of them think this is unnecessary because the authorities will try to keep tabs on them. But I declare the following: We have other aims and tasks! If they ask us for protection, we will work honestly," Avakov said during an exclusive interview with the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Avakov said police protection can be provided to candidates in order to prevent conflict situations or their aggravation.
"This doesn't mean cops with guns will tread along with the candidate. This means that we will control the situation, the entire probability space, so that we can take preventive security measures if necessary," he said.
The minister also said that the Ministry of Internal Affairs has operational information on those who escort candidates on campaign stops.
"We are aware who is involved, how and why these events are organized. If we detect criminal acts, we will intervene. We are primarily concerned about the security of the process. And I warn everyone that the police will react firmly to political games beyond the line of security and law," he said.