President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with El Pais that he is ready to declare martial law throughout the country, if the conflict in the east of the country will go on, Censor.NET reports citing Liga.
"I am ready to declare martial law throughout the country and the Verkhovna Rada will support it, if the conflict continues to escalate. I haven't done it so far since it would provide for democracy and freedom restrictions, and would become a threat to economic development," Poroshenko said.
According to the president, despite the fact that the Minsk diplomatic process seems to be dead, Ukraine cannot abandon it. "Following my efforts on resumption of the negotiations within the contact group, they (the separatists), I assume, have received appropriate instructions, because they are currently expressing their readiness to establish cease-fire, having delivered ultimatum to Ukraine. Though they strive to stick to a certain line (it differs from the line of contact, agreed in September).The Minsk memorandum is a comprehensive document which is universally recognized, including by Russia. So it is necessary to stop the dirty game and see when and how we will implement it in practice."
As for the date of the contact group's meeting, according to Poroshenko, it depends on Putin. "There is no alternative. It is necessary to declare a cease-fire without preconditions. It is impossible to discuss management of the economy or any other topics while the Ukrainian army defends its positions, and the militants intend to attack it on a regular basis: they are fully equipped by Russia with weapons, training specialists, commanders and regular Russian army detachments acting at their own risk," Poroshenko said adding: "A full-scale military conflict is taking place in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which involves the most powerful army on the continent. There is no civil war, for if the foreign troops were withdrawn, Ukraine would have been brought to rights in two weeks in a democratic, rather than military way - through the empowerment of local governments and general amnesty for those who have not committed serious crimes."
Poroshenko also said that he did not want the occupation forces to enter Ukraine while there is no grounds for the presence of 'peacekeepers' because Ukraine can control its borders independently. The president noted to the objection of the outlet's journalist that it is a question for Russia: "When we sent troops to defend our border they were shelled from multiple rocket launchers. Thus, this is a question for Russia. Russia with the similar hatred attacks OSCE vehicles, drones and the main camp, where the representatives of the OSCE and the joint center on control and coordination (comprised of the Russian and Ukrainian Army representatives). Peace in the eastern Ukraine depends on Russia alone," the president insisted.