On Thursday, President of Ukraine Pyotr Poroshenko, in an annual address to the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament) to deputies, addressed the internal and external situation of the country.
During the speech, the Ukrainian leader stated that when Kiev retakes the Crimea, he will remove the Russian base of the Black Sea Fleet of Sevastopol.
“It is proposed to eliminate the rule of the constitution, which allows to base the Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine,” he said in a statement.
In addition, the Ukrainian president said that the country follows with conviction towards the European Union and NATO and only by adhering to these structures, peace and security will be guaranteed. He stressed that Kiev will continue to integrate into the EU space and called on the parliament to accelerate the implementation of the association agreement. The pace of implementation of the agreement, in his view, is unsatisfactory.
He also stressed that military leadership is needed to accelerate the task of getting Ukraine’s defense sector to NATO standards.
Regarding the military conflict in the south-east of the country, Poroshenko said that coordinating the parameters of the maintenance of the peace mission in Donbass will become real progress in resolving the conflict. He added that the mission must necessarily be implemented throughout the territory of Ukraine.
“This will create conditions for the implementation of part of the Minsk agreements, including the withdrawal of Russian troops from the occupied territory of Ukraine,” he said.
The Ukrainian leader stressed that the country’s defense needs exceeded its capabilities and that “innovative” solutions are needed in this area.
“Our defense needs exceed exactly our capabilities and we must, along with you, find original exits, the military is waiting for innovative solutions, solutions in the defense industry,” he emphasized.
In his view, there is a “risk” of easing international sanctions imposed on Russia and promised not to allow it.
“We will be consistently opposed to attempts to ease the pressure of sanctions against Russia… I am almost certain that we will not allow withdrawal [of sanctions], but know, that there is a risk of mitigation,” the Ukrainian president said in his speech.
In addition, he stated that the fact of Russia “persistently trying to withdraw sanctions” indicates that they are effective.
Relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated after the reunification of the Crimea to Russia in March 2014 and the beginning of the conflict in Donbass. In addition, Kiev accused Moscow in the involvement of the internal affairs of the country. Moscow has repeatedly stated that it is not part of the internal Ukrainian conflict and it is in the interest of Ukraine to overcome the political and economic crisis.