Poroshenko: Ukraine under 'colossal threat'

The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned large scale fighting is imminent and the military should be prepared to defend Ukraine against a possible invasion along its border with Russia.

Poroshenko: Ukraine under 'colossal threat'

World Bulletin / News Desk

Petro Poroshenko has said that large scale fighting with Russia could be possible and that the military should be prepared to protect its border. Poroshenko made the comments during his annual address to parliament on June 4, a day after the heaviest fighting between government troops and opposition forces in eastern Ukraine in months.

Poroshenko said that more than 9,000 Russian soldiers were currently in Ukraine, and that Ukraine's military must be prepared for the possibility of "a full-scale invasion along the entire length of the border with Russia."

EU violence will "spiral"

The European Union warned on Thursday that a flare-up in fighting in eastern Ukraine could create a "new spiral" of violence and recalled that EU leaders have said they could tighten sanctions on Russia.

The warning came as Ukraine's ambassador to the EU, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, urged the bloc to take immediate steps to ramp up sanctions on Moscow over the renewed fighting.

Earlier, presidential aide Yuriy Biryukov said that at least five Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 39 wounded in the June 3 fighting with separatist forces. Most casualties were reported near the town of Maryinka, west of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk.

The European Union warned on Thursday that a flare-up in fighting in eastern Ukraine could create a "new spiral" of violence and recalled that EU leaders have said they could tighten sanctions on Russia.

The warning came as Ukraine's ambassador to the EU, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev, urged the bloc to take immediate steps to ramp up sanctions on Moscow over the renewed fighting.

Calling clashes on Wednesday near Donetsk the worst violation since an EU-brokered ceasefire took effect in February, a spokeswoman for the EU's executive Commission told a news briefing: "This renewed intensive fighting is likely to create a new spiral of violence and suffering."

"The leaders have made a very clear link between the restrictive measures and the full implementation of Minsk, but they have also said that they remain if necessary (ready to) take further steps," she said. "This remains the EU's position."

Yelisieiev said the Minsk agreements were on the brink of complete breakdown and said what Kiev says was a separatist attack on the eastern town of Maryinka should trigger stronger EU economic sanctions againstMoscow.

In a statement, the ambassador urged the EU "to take immediate steps to support the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, in particular by ramping up the sanctions pressure on Moscow".

A formal decision to renew the EU sanctions on Russia's financial, energy and defence sectors is expected to be taken when the leaders next meet on June 25 and 26. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Haziran 2015, 14:28
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