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Top news

18 December 2018, 23:00

Speaker A.Parubiy meets US Special Representative K.Volker to discuss recent Russian aggression and further support of Ukraine by United States of America

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

“We reckon upon support of the U.S. and its diplomatic efforts aiming to release the Ukrainian sailors seized,” – A.Parubiy, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament

On December 18, Andriy Parubiy, the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, met with Kurt Volker, the United States Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations. Andriy Parubiy thanked him and the United States of America for the strong support of Ukraine after another act of aggression in the Kerch Strait.

According to the head of parliament, the U.S. stance towards freezing any negotiations until the Ukrainian seamen are returned is the position that has consolidated the entire community of nations. He noted that at present "Ukraine is doing its best to free Ukrainian sailors, Ukrainian soldiers who are in captivity of the Russian Federation".

"We count on further all-out support from the United States, so that our boys will return to their families more quickly. This is the number one task," added A.Parubiy, and emphasized the importance of training of the Ukrainian armed forces against new aggressive actions of the Russian Federation.

"We can't let Russia declare the Sea of Azov as its inland sea. It is international waters. The attack on our ships was an overt violation of all international rights," stressed the Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

A.Parubiy informed his collocutor about recently adopted laws, in particular, the law on the contiguous zone of Ukraine, which allows a more active use of the Ukrainian armed forces for protection of the state maritime boundary. At the same time, he stressed that Ukraine needs the latest weapons, which would allow it to better protect the borders in case of another act of aggression of the Russian Federation.

The chairman stressed the importance of European states’ joining in the US position: "I believe that we will force Russia to return Ukraine's seamen home, acting in concert".

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada, giving his comments on the introduction of martial law in certain regions of Ukraine, stressed that such a decision was utterly important for the coordination between civil administrations and the military. "It is very important. We do not know exactly when and how provocations may occur, so we have to be ready for them to the fullest. If there is no direct aggression, the issue will not rise again because it is really necessary to hold elections," underlined the politician.

A.Parubiy stressed that the presidential elections would be held on time, as the majority of the parliamentarians had voted for that.

According to him, the introduction of martial law in the border areas, especially nearby the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, "was a preventive measure to bring the defences to a full readiness, there was no curfew or restrictions that could affect essential human freedoms".

In his turn, Kurt Volker noted that for the United States it is absolutely clear and transparent that the attack on Ukrainian vessels was completely illegal: "It was an illegal claim to the sea territorial waters.  It was illegal to block and capture the ships and seamen".

He stressed there had been the proper reaction of many countries, noting that yesterday in Brussels, during numerous meetings with the EU and NATO representatives, it was stressed that Russia had acted illegally – “it was an act of open military aggression".

"We do uphold Ukraine's aspiration to strengthen defence capacity of its armed forces to respond to Russian aggression," said K. Volker, noting that it is very important to discontinue the martial law on time and to adhere to democratic principles.  He also commended the adoption of mine action laws, as it affects lives of people of the eastern regions, and the preparations for a law on defence procurements and so forth.

The special representative said that in January the U.S. Congress would hear on allocation of the next USD 125 million of military assistance to Ukraine.

"America has a desire to support Ukraine in its intentions to strengthen its defence power at sea, alongside the coastline as well as its air defence," said K.Volker, and then stressed that adoption of the law on military equipment sales would be a signal not only to taxpayers in the U.S. but also for European countries.