Poroshenko hopeful EU, U.S. will further strengthen sanctions against Russia
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is hopeful that the West will increase sanctions against Russia and appreciates the support of the European Union and the United States for Ukraine.
"First of all, Putin cannot believe that the European Union can keep unity and solidarity with Ukraine for such a long time," Poroshenko said in an interview with POLITICO, the presidential press service reported on Wednesday evening.
"He [Putin] cannot imagine that it would happen for five years. And for this situation, I want to thank the European Union, and especially thanks to Chancellor [of Germany Angela] Merkel, to the French presidents, both [Francois] Hollande and [Emmanuel] Macron. I want to thank [Chairman of the European Union] Donald Tusk, who played an enormous role. I want to thank [Chairman of the European Commission] Jean-Claude Juncker. I want to thank the leaders of the European Union who even in this situation can deliver these results, demonstrating the values of the European Union are much more important than the money Putin proposed to cancel the sanctions," the president stressed.
Poroshenko expressed belief that sanctions are the motivation for Putin to sit at the negotiating table. "Were sanctions effective? Definitely, yes," he stressed.
According to the president, during the period of sanctions, the country-aggressor had suffered significant losses, which had severely affected its economy. "Russia lost $150 billion because of the sanctions and lost 10 percent of GDP because of the sanctions, and lost 10 years of development in the most sensitive sectors of the Russian economy because of the sanctions," he said.
"What is the positive for Europe? Russia starts to spend significantly less on the military complex because of the sanctions. And despite all of the disputes, Europe together with the United States, together with all G7 nations, keep the unity at least on the Ukrainian question. But I want to sanction more. If Russia makes an aggression in neutral waters of the Black Sea against our military vessel, there should be a punishment because this is an act of aggression," Poroshenko emphasized.
According to him, additional sanctions could have been related to the banking sector or the dual purpose commodities.