Poroshenko at the UN: Monitors Needed Along Border with Russia
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko: We should ensure a comprehensive, a real-time monitoring of the situation along the Russian border with Ukraine
Photo Mikhail Palinchak
At the United Nations General Assembly Debate on agenda item 67 “The situation in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine,” Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko pointed out that Russia has concentrated a large military contingent along the Ukrainian border, therefore, it was necessary to ensure a comprehensive real-time monitoring of the situation at the border. This was reported by his Press Office.
Poroshenko expressed gratitude to all nations that actively contribute to the SMM OSCE work in conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. According to him, the overall number of illegal armed formations stands now at around 35,000 militants, along with 2,100 soldiers from the Russian regular armed forces.
“The total number of the Russian armed forces along the Russian-Ukrainian border is over 87,000 military. Military experts would tell it straight that an armed grouping at the Russian border with Ukraine is an offensive strike group personnel. It has nothing to do with defense. They are meant for military strike. This is what the Kremlin is being prepared for,” Poroshenko emphasized.
“Thus, further escalation to a full-scale war is not an unrealistic prospect. That is why we should ensure a comprehensive, a real-time monitoring of the situation along the Russian border with Ukraine. Knowing the aggressor as I know him, I would like to assure you that most of all he is afraid of transparency, public attention and the world knowing his plans,” Poroshenko added.
According to Poroshenko, the price Ukraine pays for the Russian aggression in Donbas has a wide-raging and multidimensional character. Separate from the direct military consequences, Ukraine is now facing the most serious humanitarian challenges since independence.
“Critical infrastructure facilities, electricity, gas and water supplies, damaged by shellings require urgent repair. Civilians continue to face serious risks to their safety due to the saturation of landmines and other explosive ordnances in the occupied Donbas. This area, according to the UN, has already become the most mine-contaminated stretches of land in the world,” Poroshenko stressed.
“To overcome the humanitarian consequences of the Russian military aggression over the last five years, UN agencies have mobilized more than USD 460 million. We are grateful for the assistance provided by our international partners to millions of people in need,” he said.
“The economic and environmental damages caused by the Russian occupation are also immense. 27% of Donbas industrial potential has been illegally moved to Russia, including the equipment of 33 local industrial giants. The remaining enterprises cannot be fully operational because of the lack of professional staff, financial resources and the loss of cooperation ties with other parts of Ukraine,” Poroshenko added.
He also stressed that the ecological situation in the occupied Donbas was also deteriorating, in particular due to the flooding of coal mines, which pose a risk of water contamination.
“There are a number of potentially dangerous objects near the line of contact which, due to regular shelling by armed formations of the Russian Federation, could become an epicenter of the ecological and technological disaster. And this is not a complete list of the problems brought to our land by the Russian aggression,” Poroshenko emphasized.