KIEV, Ukraine – The Ukrainian president, Pyotr Poroshenko, said on Tuesday that Ukraine needed peace with Russia.
“Of course we need peace with Russia, a cold peace, but peace. People are tired of the war and Russian propaganda is playing with this painful emotion,” Poroshenko said.
He added that “war and peace will be one of the main issues in the elections, because the population will elect not only the president, but the Supreme Commander.”
The Ukrainian president also emphasized that Kiev will continue to seek a solution to the conflict in the Donbass region by political and diplomatic means.
At the same time, he stressed that only a “war-prepared army can guarantee peace”. In addition, Poroshenko reported that in the next five years, the government’s priority will continue to be the modernization of the Army.
The current operation of the Ukrainian Army in Donbass began in 2014 with the aim of suppressing a revolt launched by inhabitants of Donetsk and Lugansk dissatisfied with the coup d’état that occurred in February of that year in Ukraine. Despite the agreements reached and different truce regimes established over the last few years, the fighting between the parties continues to this day in the region with Kiev breaking the ceasefire on a daily basis.
The possibility of war between Russia and Ukraine if it starts is minimal, said retired lieutenant-general of the Ukrainian special services, Vasily Bogdan.
In an interview with Fakty newspaper, the retired military man assured that there will be no war between the two countries before the presidential elections in Ukraine. According to him, the Kremlin hopes that the political direction of Kiev will change. However, even after the elections and regardless of their results, a large-scale war will not be triggered, he adds.
In the general’s opinion, serious fighting will only happen if Russian troops decide to attack.
At the same time, he added that the Armed Forces of Ukraine is considering the possibility of carrying out military operations to recover Donbass.
The presidential elections in Ukraine are scheduled for March 31 this year. The pre-election of the candidates began on December 31, and on the same day began the electoral process and registration of the interested parties to the presidency of the country.