Poroshenko believes sanctions force Russia to take talks seriously on Ukraine – Western Media

Ukrainian President Poroshenko believes sanctions against Russia not only add problems to its economy, but are also used as an instrument that forces Russians to negotiate seriously on a settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
He was quoted as saying in an interview with a limited number of journalists in Zurich, Switzerland, according to the article published in The Wall Street Journal, Ukrinform reports.
“The most important thing is that sanctions are working and they are not just bringing some problems to Russia, but an instrument to keep it at the negotiating table,” Ukrainian President said.
Poroshenko said he talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin about once every two weeks. Asked if the fall in oil prices and the ruble’s value in recent months had changed Putin’s tone in the calls, Poroshenko said no, the article said. “It seems to me that the Ukrainian question is very emotional for him (Putin – Ed.). If you ask if I trust him, my answer would be no,” Poroshenko said.
He also expressed the belief that to have a complete de-escalation in eastern Ukraine there is no need of any meaningless conversations. “We just have to expel Russian troops,” he said.
At the same time, it must be done peacefully. After all, he said that a military solution to the conflict that has claimed over 4,700 lives “does not exist.” Poroshenko noted in this regard that support from Europe and the U.S. is crucial to cementing a peace deal agreed upon in the Belarus capital of Minsk in September, and that sanctions are forcing Russia to take talks seriously.
The President of Ukraine also said that a resolution to the conflict is “a separate issue” from the question of Crimea that Moscow annexed in March. According to him, the return of Crimea can be a lengthy process, but first Russia must withdraw its troops from eastern Ukraine, the newspaper reports.

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