No illusions about Russia after recent provocations in Crimea, sanctions should be stiffened, - Poroshenko to Tusk
President Petro Poroshenko had a telephone conversation with President of the European Council Donald Tusk. Censor.NET
reports referring to the presidential press service
The president of Ukraine dwelt on the recent cynical provocation by the Russian Federation in occupied Crimea and escalation of its aggressive actions in eastern Ukraine. The sides discussed the implementation of the Minsk accords. Moreover, Poroshenko stressed the need for expanding international monitoring efforts in the Donbas, in particular those of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, including in the territory of Crimea, as well as the deployment of an OSCE armed police mission in the Donbas.
The head of state emphasized the importance of EU's decisive reaction to Russia's provocations and escalation of tension.
"After the recent events in Crimea, no illusions should remain about Russia's intentions. The stiffening of sanctions remains an effective instrument of influence," Poroshenko remarked.
The president of the European Council praised Ukraine's balanced reaction to the Kremin's provocations in Crimea.
Donald Tusk reaffirmed the EU's unwavered position regarding the extension of sanctions and adamant support of Ukraine.
He underlined that Ukraine remains one of the top priorities on the EU's agenda. The EU-Ukraine solidarity in tackling external aggression will be one of the topics during the upcoming informal meetings of the EU member states in Bratislava, Slovakia.
The sides also discussed the prospects of tackling the Ukraine-EU visa liberalization issue.
Poroshenko reiterated Tusk's invitation to Ukraine to attend the events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Babyn Yar tragedy.
As previously reported, the situation on the administrative border with the peninsula turned
critical early in the morning of Aug. 7. Since that moment, the occupation authorities have repeatedly altered the access mode at three checkpoints, either closing them or resuming their work in full or partially.
A number of Crimean media reported the introduction of Krepost (Fortress) plan aimed at tracking down five camo-clad persons. Eyewitnesses mention checkpoints set up on the main roads with the traffic police and OMON fighters stopping buses and checking passengers. At 4:30 a.m., Aug. 10, the Russian side opened the Kalanchak checkpoint near Armiansk that had been closed since Aug. 7.
On Aug. 10, the FSB released
an official statement about averted terrorist attacks in annexed Crimea "prepared by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's MoD in order to target critical life-supporting and infrastructure facilities inside the peninsula." Further on, the FSB released a video
with the alleged organizer of the thwarted "terrorist acts" in the occupied Crimea, Zaporizhia region resident Yevhen Panov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, in turn, said
that Ukraine "has switched to the practice of terror."
Putin also said he considered the upcoming Normandy Four meeting to be pointless in the light of the alleged detention of Ukrainian "saboteur" in occupied Crimea.
Putin's puppet of the so-called "parliament" of Crimea Remzi Ilyasov said the occupying authorities perceive the incident "as an act of aggression, in fact, a declaration of war."
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine denied
all Russia's allegations, calling them provocative.
National Security and Defense Council Secretary Oleksandr Turchynov described
the hysterical and false allegations by Russia's FSB as groundless and called them another element of Russia's hybrid war against Ukraine and an attempt to exacerbate the situation in the occupied territory.
The Ukrainian MoD has refuted the FSB's allegations on the involvement of Ukraine's intelligence in subversive activities in Crimea and called them an attempt of the Russian Federation to justify its aggression in the territory of the annexed peninsula.
President Petro Poroshenko said
that the Russian allegations are groundless and serve as "a pretext for more military threats against Ukraine."
Spokesperson to the U.S. Department of State Elizabeth Trudeau said that the Russian Federation's recent allegations on Ukraine's involvement in "subversive activities" in Russian-occupied Crimea should not distract
the United States from the real issue Russia has created in Ukraine.
On Aug. 11, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko instructed
that all the units deployed at the administrative border with Crimea and the demarcation line in the Donbas be on high alert.
Ihor Kotelianets, Panov's brother, claims
Yevhen was kidnapped in Ukraine's Zaporizhia region and taken to the occupied peninsula.
According to Ukraine's Defense Intelligence, none of its employees has been detained by the FSB to date in the territory of occupied Crimea.
The police have qualified
the fact of Yevhen Panov's disappearance reported by his relatives as a criminal offence under the article 146 (illegal deprivation of freedom or abduction) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
First Deputy Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's representative in the humanitarian subgroup of the Trilateral Contact Group Iryna Herashchenko says Yevhen Panov has become another kidnapped Russian hostage who Ukraine will have to liberate.