Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, has sought to forge a united front with Germany and France against a Russian Federation that he said was still threatening to invade his country and was arming separatist forces.
While military vehicles were not included in the Kiev parade as in last year’s celebration, Poroshenko used the occasion to inform the public that were not present as they had been sent to the east. “We must get through the 25th year of independence as if on brittle ice”. But “we have to understand that the smallest careless step could be fatal”. Poroshenko said that the campaign for independence could continue for decades. “The war for independence is still going on and victory is possible only through combined efforts of defense, diplomatic pressure and political responsibility”.
Thousands of servicemen marched in downtown Kyiv on Monday to mark Ukraine’s Independence Day. The head of state added that Russian has not yet given up the idea of directly intervening deep into Ukraine, noting that 210,000 people were called to active duty in six mobilizations.
“The key goal of the Ukrainian authorities is to create a powerful worldwide community that forms a coalition and stops the aggressor”, Poroshenko said in reference to Russian Federation. “In that sense, Poroshenko is fighting for… complete independence from Russian Federation. They must keep their hands off our republic”.
Kiev says it can not make the September principal payment because this would breach its International Monetary Fund agreement to restructure $15.3 billion in debt.
But even in areas still held by the Russia-backed rebels, where criticism of Kyiv is high, those movements have been largely abandoned from lack of support.
Almost 7,000 people have died since the war between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists broke out in April 2014.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, a 57-nation alliance that has hundreds of monitors deployed throughout Ukraine, has recorded dozens of cease-fire violations in recent days.
Poroshenko is also expected to give an account of what he has done to honour the Minsk peace agreement and a shaky ceasefire. Russian Federation and the rebels now limit OSCE access to just a fraction of the border.
Merkel and Hollande met Putin and Poroshenko in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in February, emerging with a peace deal that promised to end the fighting quickly and resolve all political disputes by the end of the year.