|Russian "humanitarian convoy"|
The much disputed Russian “humanitarian convoy” which has entered Ukrainian territory and headed to the besieged Luhansk on Friday despite the fact that Ukrainian side didn’t allow its movement through Ukrainian territory has finally left Ukraine, according to the reports of the OSCE mission members and the head of Ukrainian OSCE monitoring mission Paul Ricard.
The “humanitarian convoy”, declared by Russia to be carrying humanitarian aid and food for the people in the anti-terrorist operation zone and considered by Ukrainian officials and West as the one which could possibly bring new weapons and mercenaries to the Donbas region in order to support the Russian terrorists and pro-Russian fighters, consisted of nearly 280 white painted trucks. Its movement through Ukrainian territory was declared by Ukraine, USA, EU and NATO as a direct and open invasion and act of aggression against Ukraine and it was also strongly condemned by the Western leaders, including US President Barak Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Though the convoy has left Ukrainian territory on Saturday, 23 August, carrying equipment stolen from Ukrainian factories and plants located on the territories currently controlled by the rebels and Russian terrorists. The satellite images reportedly confirmed it. In addition to that NATO declared that they also have satellite pictures showing that Russia continues supplying the rebels and terrorists with the new weapons, military technique and mercenaries, despite the officials claims of Russian leaderships that Russia is ready for the talks and wants to resolve the conflict peacefully, through the talks.
|German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Petro|
Poroshenko during their meeting in Kyiv
(Image: Kyiv Ukraine)
Fierce fights are ongoing in the zone of an anti-terrorists operation and along the Russian-Ukrainian border, as Ukrainian military attacks more and more terrorists’ position, but the number of losses is also high. Thus, nearly 2000 people have died since the beginning of aggression and nearly 5000 people were wounded. Hundreds of thousands were forced to leave their homes and became the refugees, escaping the war with Russia.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has visited Ukraine on Saturday, 23 August, on the eve of Ukrainian Independence Day, and it was her first officials visit to Kyiv since 2008. Angela Merkel has met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and with other Ukrainian officials including several city governors. Mrs. Merkel discussed with Ukrainian President and Ukrainian officials the current situation in Eastern Ukraine, the ongoing anti-terrorist operation, Russian aggression against Ukraine and the possibilities and ways to resolve the deepening crisis.
Mrs. Merkel declared her total support of Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty and stressed that illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia cannot be recognized by Germany and by the Western countries. “We cannot recognize annexation of Crimea,” stated Mrs. Merkel during the joint press-conference with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, as “it happened with the violation of the international law and with the violation of the integrity of the European territory. If we will recognize such a principle, it could happen again anywhere in Europe”, said Angela Merkel. She also added that it is very important to save Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Angela Merkel and Petro Poroshenko have also discussed the plan of rebuilding Donbas region presented by German Chancellor. Thus, Germany is ready to support Ukraine financially with 500 Million Euros for restructuring and rebuilding the infrastructure of the war torn region. This money is expected to be allocated from the special fund to be created in September. In addition to that Germany will provide medical treatment for 20 wounded from the anti-terrorist operation zone.
|Angela Merkel and Petro Poroshenko joint press conference|
(Image: MSN News)
Angela Merkel and her colleagues have declared also that they totally support territorial integrity of Ukraine but Ukrainian officials should consider carefully the most suitable federalization model to be implemented in the country in order to resolve the crisis. Though there was kind of a confusion regarding the issue of federalization, stated Angela Merkel, as federalization is being viewed by Germany rather as decentralization of power, which is really necessary for Ukraine.
As for resolving the crisis Germany and Ukrainian Western partners are willing to resolve it peacefully and with the help of the diplomatic means. Thus, the bilateral ceasefire is considered being one of the most important conditions for the peaceful talks.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in his turn has stated that Ukraine is ready for the talks and diplomatic solution, but there should be only bilateral ceasefire.
“Ukraine is ready and able to resolve the problem peacefully,” Mr. Poroshenko said during the press conference. “That what prevent us from doing it are the foreign mercenaries. Take the armed people and the weapons out of Ukrainian territory, and I can assure you that peace and security will be restored very quickly in Ukraine”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her turn has also called on the Russian President Putin to withdraw its mercenaries from Ukrainian territory and to stop supplying them with the weapons. Mrs. Merkel also stated about the importance of the upcoming negotiations to be held in Minsk, Belarus, in a couple of days, and assured Ukrainian President that Germany will support Ukraine and will do everything possible for the peaceful talks.
Thus, the Angela Merkel and Petro Poroshenko have discussed the current situation and the possibilities to resolve the deepening crisis, and Mr. Poroshenko also assured Angela Merkel that Ukrainian Parliament would ratify the Association Agreement with the EU by the end of September.