Russia will pay dearly if it attacks Ukraine, said Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko while addressing the Clear Sky 2018 international maneuvers.
“Joint maneuvers with NATO Clear Sky 2018 member countries are necessary to demonstrate that the price to be paid by Russia will be very high if it attacks Ukraine with its air force,” wrote the leader on his Facebook.
The leader also stressed that the country is fighting for freedom and democracy and appreciates the position of its US and NATO partners.
In the video, added in the post, Poroshenko also said that Ukrainian soldiers can teach many things to the NATO military, as they “fight under conditions of a Russian hybrid war.”
The Clear Sky 2018 international exercises are taking place in Ukraine from October 8 to 19, with the participation of several NATO countries: Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and the USA.
This is not the first strong statement made by the Ukrainian president during the maneuvers. Before, he had said that “you have to be ready for any scenario: both defensive and an efficient counterattack.”
Relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated after the reunification of the Crimea to Russia in March 2014 and the beginning of the conflict in the Russian-majority region of Donbass in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Kiev accused Moscow of 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.
In 2014, the Ukrainian Supreme Rada passed legislative amendments, according to which the country ceased to be non-aligned. In June 2016, other changes were approved that established NATO membership as one of the country’s foreign policy goals. In fact, by 2020 Kiev has committed to ensuring the compatibility of its Armed Forces with those of NATO.