Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko: ‘Sanctions Are Working’ on Russia (includes interview)

In Interview, He Says He’s Hopeful Talks Will Bring an End to Fighting With Separatists
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he’s still hopeful talks with Russia will bring an end to fighting with pro-Moscow separatists in the east of his country, despite the recent upsurge in violence there.
In an interview with a small group of reporters, he said that Western sanctions are succeeding in keeping Russia at the negotiating table, even as he accused the Kremlin of sending more than 1,000 troops across the border in recent days, bringing the total on his territory to about 9,000.
He didn't offer any specific evidence of the move. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied sending troops into Ukraine and arming rebels there—a claim the West rejects. Russia’s ministry of defense called the latest report of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine “hallucinations.”
Though Ukraine has for now fought the rebels to a standstill, he said, a military solution to the conflict that has claimed over 4,700 lives “does not exist.” He said support from Europe and the U.S. is crucial to cementing a peace deal agreed upon in the Belarus capital of Minsk in September, and that sanctions are forcing Russia to take talks seriously.
“The most important thing is that sanctions are working,” he said, adding that they are “not just bringing some problems to Russia, but an instrument to keep it at the negotiating table.”
Mr. Poroshenko said he speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin about once every two weeks. Asked if the fall in oil prices and the ruble’s value in recent months had changed Mr. Putin’s tone in the calls, Mr. Poroshenko said no.
“It seems to me that the Ukrainian question is very emotional for him,” he said. “If you ask if I trust him, my answer would be no.”
Read the rest of the rest of the story HERE and view the interview below:

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