YES Summit: ‘No more step further until Russia withdraws troops' – Poroshenko at YES summit

10:43 Sep. 16, 2016

‘No more step further until Russia withdraws troops' – Poroshenko at YES summit

13th Yalta European Strategy has kicked off in Kyiv (UNIAN Photo)

Ukrainian Presiden delivered an emotional and open-hearted speech at the 13th Yalta European Strategy which kicked off in Kyiv

The 13th Yalta European Strategy has kicked off in Kyiv, guests from 20 countries are expected to take part in the event. They are going to discuss the Ukrainian conflict with Russia as well as crucial worldwide affairs such as Brexit, upcoming presidential elections in the US, the migrant crisis, terrorism, populism in politics and many other.

Read also: Britain will need months of preparation to start Brexit talks

Former CIA director Robert Gates is said to arrive in Kyiv to deliver a speech. He is expected to be joined by diplomats from the EU. Among them are European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, ex-President of the Commission Jose Barroso, former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will also participate at the event having already delivered a speech. His statement as expected was dedicated to the situation in Ukraine. In an apparent attempt to reiterate Russia's role in inciting the conflict, Poroshenko called on the international community to lose the term ‘civil war' that some Western figures use to describe the combat in the country.

Two and a half years we fight against foreign aggression, the name of which is very simple. It is not a civil war, not a conflict in Ukraine. It is nothing but aggression of the Russian Federation against sovereign, free, democratic Ukraine. We must use solely this word', he stated, asking Western politicians and experts to change the terminology, used to describe the situation in Donbas and Crimea.

Read also: German, French Foreign Ministers visit eastern Ukraine

Poroshenko's speech was emotional.

'I am often blamed. They say that the Ukrainian side continues "to resist" and does not move forward on the political track of the Minsk process. I repeat once and forever: we have already turned the other cheek. Turned so, that hardly stayed alive. No more step further until the Russian side goes its own distance on the security track!', he proclaimed. 

'We are not a part of NATO, we are defending ourselves with our own weapons. But the sanctions are the only mechanism to keep Putin at the negotiation table. It's time to introduce new sectoral restrictions', Poroshenko said, adding that the West is facing a moment of truth in the upcoming months.  

The format of the summit does not enable the participants to make any conclusive decisions. Ukraine is rumored to be provided with financial aid by the EU for decentralization.

The forum will last until September 17.

YES conference was previously held in Yalta, Crimea, but after Russia annexed the peninsula it moved to Kyiv. 

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