No plans to retake Donbas militarily – Ukraine`s defense minister

Ukrainian Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak assures there are no plans to retake Russian-occupied areas in Donetsk and Luhansk regions, using military means, according to the Ukrainian-language service of Germany`s Deutsche Welle.

”We do not consider the use of force to address the problem of occupation in Donetsk and Luhansk. But every Ukrainian citizen will defend every inch of their land if Russia resorts to open aggression,” Poltorak told Deutsche Welle in an interview in Berlin where he met his German counterpart Federal Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen.

In his words, the violation of the ceasefire in Donbas and the Minsk peace agreements, including the supply of weapons to the militants, weighs on Russia`s conscience.

”We recognize Donetsk and Luhansk as Ukrainian territory,” Poltorak added.

He also mentioned a number of important measures to be taken by the Ukrainian government and the president to return uncontrolled areas in occupied Donbas and annexed Crimea under Ukraine`s jurisdiction, without giving details, Deutsche Welle reported.

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