|Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko during the EU meeting|
(Image: Kyiv Post)
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has met with European officials during his visit to Brussels where the EU Summit was held on Saturday, 30 August. Mr. Poroshenko has discussed the deepening crisis and escalation of the Russian military aggression in Eastern Ukrainian Donbas region and called on European leaders to support Ukraine and to help it not only morally but also with the real and effective support, as Ukraine is actually defending not only its own borders now, but the borders of Europe, and the threat of the Russian military aggression and occupation is high for many European countries, Mr. Poroshenko declared in his speech.
Ukrainian authorities in their turn don’t see the military solution of the Donbas crisis, according to the words of Ukrainian President, so the hopes for the peaceful solution and implementation of the Poroshenko’s “peaceful plan” are still high.
European countries have supported Ukraine and took a decision to impose the new package of the sanctions against Russia and to send Ukraine aid and help, with the exception of Hungary, Cyprus, Czech Republic and Slovakia, as the representatives of these countries voiced against the new sanctions.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her turn has supported the issue of the new sanctions but she stressed the importance of the serious work with the sanctions’ list, as these new sanctions should affect the new sectors of Russian economy and shouldn’t be the same as the previous restrictions, stated Mrs. Merkel. She is also reluctant regarding the military assistance for Ukraine, as this move of the European countries would demonstrate that this conflict should be resolved militarily, according to the German Chancellor.
French and British governments have also supported the idea of the new sanctions and deepening the economical, political and diplomatic pressure on Russia in case it will not deescalate, but France will also not send any military help to Ukraine, as the French officials also believe this conflict should be resolved peacefully.
Thus, EU officials took a decision to take a week to consider the issue of the new sanctions against Russia. In addition to that Ukraine will also receive financial aid from EU countries. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has stated that EU will send Ukraine $ 1 Billion of the financial aid and also 250 Million Euro of economic support. Ukraine will also receive military and technical help and assistance including military equipment and non-lethal weapons from the European countries as well, according to the statement of Ukrainian President after the meeting in Brussels.
During his visit to Brussels Petro Poroshenko also emphasized the importance of the resuming and deepening of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO. This issue is really extremely importance for Ukraine, for its state security and the further implementation of the new reforms. It’s worth mentioning also that Ukrainian government has initiated the draft bill regarding the ending of Ukrainian non-bloc status and further work for cooperation with NATO. NATO’s Head Anders Fogh Rasmussen in his turn has declared recently that Ukraine has all the chances to join NATO in the future. Ukrainian ex-Prime Minister and candidate for the President Yulia Tymoshenko has stressed the importance of the joining NATO and proposed to hold National Referendum regarding Ukraine in NATO. Such a Referendum could be held together with the early parliamentary elections, on 26 October, stated Mrs. Tymoshenko.
Meanwhile, situation in the zone of the anti-terrorist operation remains tense and very dangerous, as pro-Russian terrorists and Russian regular troops are controlling several cities in the neighborhood on Novoazovsk, Illowaysk and other cities as well. Ukrainian soldiers remain surrounded by the Russians and terrorists in Illowaysk and they received ultimatum to out the arms down, but Ukrainian soldiers refused. Russian president Putin has called on the terrorists and his soldiers earlier to organize the “humanitarian corridor” in order to evacuate Ukrainian soldiers and their wounded from this zone, but the huge column of Ukrainian soldiers was attacked by the Russians while trying to leave the zone using this corridor. Ukrainian troops were simply shelled and shot by the tanks and mortars, leaving hundreds dead and injured, according to the correspondents. Hundreds of soldiers were probably taken captive by Russians, anyway, their fate remains unknown, as the officials press-service of the ATO didn’t confirm the information about hundreds of dead.
Ministry of Defense in its turn has taken a decision to close all the information regarding the operation of rescuing Ukrainian soldiers in Illowaysk for security of the soldiers. They claim the information will be available once the soldiers will be rescued and evacuated. Though several units and brigades of Ukrainian soldiers have managed to break out of the surrounded territory controlled by the Russians and Russian terrorists.
Meanwhile, the special operation is currently ongoing.
Though the situation deteriorated significantly as there were reports about the plans of Russian army to advance towards Mariupol, which lies on the shore of the Azov Sea. Russian troops have also entered Donetsk, according to the reports of journalists, including Russian reporters, and now the city is under control of Russian army and local terrorists.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko though stated earlier on Sunday that he expects that the situation will deescalate at the beginning of this week, and that the military confrontation on Donbas region could be finished by the beginning of September. Mr. Poroshenko claimed that he hopes for some progress during the upcoming negotiations set to be held next week.
Russian President Putin in his turn has called on Ukrainian government to sit at the negotiation table with the so called “separatists” and discuss the new status of the Southern-Eastern region of Ukraine and its “statehood”. Thus, despite the hopes of Ukrainian officials for de-escalation and the achievements of the upcoming talks, the situation is still very difficult and tense.