“It is time for Ukraine to bring Crimea back,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine, who is on visit to Latvia, told LNT Latvian independent television.
“We have met with prime ministers of the Baltic States. I reaffirmed my strict position that no one will ever recognize the unlawful annexation of Crimea,” he said. He admitted that “Crimea is a very serious case.” In his words, Ukraine is even ready to “support free and open elections in Donetsk and Lugansk, but it will never agree with the idea of legalizing the Russia-backed terrorists on the analogy with the so-called elections of the Russian-type.”
Arseniy Yatsenyuk said that President of Russia Vladimir Putin has set a goal to seize the entire Ukraine, but he will not manage to do it. “He suffered a defeat when free and fair presidential election was held in Ukraine. One round of voting proved sufficient. He suffered a defeat when Ukraine demonstrated a real success in economic and financial reforms. He suffered a defeat as he waited for Ukraine to become a bankrupt, while we were successfully implementing our reforms. He failed his military task either,” Yatsenyuk said.
“Ukraine is the only country in Europe to fight Russia not through militants or mercenaries, but through real armed forces. Eventually, we managed to contain Russia.”
Prime Minister of Lithuania Algirdas Butkevičius, who is also on a visit to Riga, in turn, blamed Russia for allegedly hindering the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, BNS reports. The politician called for automatic extension of the sanction against Russia, unless it implements the Minsk Agreements by the end of the year.
Butkevičius arrived in Riga to attend the meeting of the heads of government of the Baltic States and Ukraine. In his words, the meeting spotlights the protracted conflict in Donbas and the prime minister discuss the implementation of the peace agreements. Russia needs to be reminded about its commitments under the Minsk Agreements, he said. Butkevičius added that “the local elections in Ukraine were legitimate and it was an important step towards strengthening of democracy in the country.” He recalled that Lithuania supports Kiev’s reforms in the most important sectors.
In addition, the prime ministers discussed Kiev’s efforts towards visa facilitation with the European Union and the issues related to the implementation of the DCFTA with the EU. Butkevičius said they are anticipating the European Commission to approve the visa free regime for Ukraine in December.