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 "We are fighting not only for Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, but also for democracy and freedom," - Poroshenko gave interview to Washington Post

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko talked to the Washington Post correspondent during his visit to the United States to participate in the UN General Assembly.

Censor.NET reports citing the press service of the head of state.

Poroshenko stressed the importance of close coordination with the partner countries and the preservation of the unity and solidarity of the civilized democratic world with Ukraine. Speaking to the American audience, he said: "They [people in the U.S.] should understand we have a very dangerous conflict in the center of Europe with the participation of thousands of Russian troops. We are doing our best to block Putin with political and financial support. We have stopped the Russian army. But we understand that at any moment the conflict can develop," the president of Ukraine said.

Poroshenko noted that the United States invested in its own security helping Ukraine: "Every American should understand this. When it comes to military cooperation, this is an investment in the homeland security of the U.S. The same goes for Europe. Global security cannot be built without effective coordination to stop the aggression in this territory," Poroshenko said.

Read more: Obama to Poroshenko: US to continue supporting Ukraine. PHOTOS

Speaking about the progress of implementation of the Minsk agreements, the president noted that while the cease-fire had been generally observed, all the items of the Minsk agreement had not been met by Russia. This primarily concerned the commitments to release illegally detained and convicted citizens of Ukraine and disastrous humanitarian conditions in the occupied Ukrainian territories.

The president stressed that it was crucial not only to cease the fire but also withdraw Russian troops from the occupied territory of Ukraine and return control of the Ukrainian-Russian border.

"We should make a well-coordinated effort to push Putin to fulfill the obligations Russia agreed to. The Minsk agreement is now in danger because of Putin's plan to introduce illegal and fake elections [in the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine]," the president said.

Poroshenko noted that holding of fake elections in the occupied territory by Russia would be a red line for him the crossing of which should be followed by stern coordinated response from the transatlantic community. The president recalled that a similar initiative had destroyed the achievements of the first Minsk agreements last year.

"Last year, they had an illegal election Nov. 2 which was not free and fair, and that killed the Minsk process. Now [Putin] wants to repeat this scenario once again," Poroshenko said.

See more: Week-long working meeting between California Air National Guard and Ukrainian Air Force started. PHOTOS

Speaking of his expectations of aid from the West and the United States, the president said: "We need better coordination on sanctions and on efforts to return Putin to the negotiating table. ... If Putin crosses the red line, we need to increase sanctions and increase our defense cooperation. Putin should know that before, not after, the election."

Speaking of military aid, the president noted that Ukraine needed defensive weapons which can increase the defensive capability of the Ukrainian armed forces, meaning counter-battery radars, electronic jamming systems for electronic warfare, drones, and secure communications equipment.

 
 
 
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