Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude to the PACE delegation for its solidarity with Ukraine and the visit to our country in a very difficult time of sharp escalation in the Donbas and worsening of the humanitarian situation.
In the course of the meeting, the president has underlined the necessity of unity of the entire Europe in its struggle against terrorism and reminded of the tragedy that happened a few days ago near Volnovakha, when 13 civilians were killed and 15 wounded as a result of the artillery shelling of a Ukrainian checkpoint by the terrorists. The president has emphasized that it was an act of terrorism, because militants had shelled the checkpoint through which civilians were constantly moving.
On behalf of the Parliamentary Assembly and the Council of Europe, Anne Brasseur has expressed condolences to the people of Ukraine over the given tragedy.
The president emphasized the necessity of intensifying the efforts of the PACE to liberate Ukrainian hostages seized by the terrorists. To date, over 600 Ukrainian citizens are in captivity, despite clear agreements reached in Minsk.
The president expressed particular concern over the situation with Ukrainian pilot Nadiia Savchenko. "We have appointed her member of the delegation to the PACE and it would be natural for the Parliamentary Assembly to make all the necessary decisions and liberate the deputy, the pilot, who defended her own country," the head of state noted. "I call on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to make every effort necessary for the liberation of the member of the Ukrainian delegation to the PACE," the president stressed.
The attendees of the meeting have agreed that the Minsk agreements must be unequivocally and immediately fulfilled, for they had been recognized by all the parties to the conflict and were the only way of peaceful settlement.
The interlocutors have also discussed the introduction of reforms and the interaction with the Parliamentary Assembly and other institutions of the Council of Europe. The president has told about the initiation of anti-corruption policy, judicial reform and decentralization. At the same time, he underlined the importance of cooperation with the Venice Commission in the issues of constitutional changes, electoral law and other reforms that are part of the democratic development of the country.
Apart from Anne Brasseur, the PACE delegation included: Secretary General of the Assembly Wojciech Sawicki and leaders of its political groups: Pedro Agramunt (the European People's Party), Jordi Xuclà (the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) and Tiny Kox (the Group of the Unified European Left). The meeting was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin and Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration Valerii Chaly.