21 January 2018, Sunday, 3:47

Petro Poroshenko: We should develop democracy in Ukraine and Belarus

The most probable winner of the Ukrainian presidential election said he was acquainted with Lukashenka.

“Belarus has been our partner for many years. We can take steps to further expand our cooperation,” BelaPAN quotes Petro Poroshenko, the candidate for presidency of Ukraine, as saying to journalists at a polling station in Kyiv on May 25.

According to Poroshenko, he is on good terms with Aliaksandr Lukashenka. “I think he regards me as his friend. As a foreign minister, I had an opportunity to meet with him. We signed the border agreement. Our relations have a big potential for development,” the candidate said.

Poroshenko emphasised it as a matter of principle that Ukraine and Belarus should implement the interests of the two nations. “We have tools to develop democracy both in Belarus and Ukraine. The potential of our relations, as I see it, is deveoping the European integration of Belarus. We created the Eastern Partnership project for this purpose,” the politician said.

He noted the activity of the EU's initiative Eastern Partnership was reduced recently. “I don't rule out that it's time to revive it,” Poroshenko said.

Asked whether his first visit would be to Moscow or Europe in case of his victory, Poroshenko said: “It will be to the Donbas region. We need a direct dialogue with residents of the region.”

As for a possibility of a meeting with Vladimir Putin, Poroshenko said: “Of course, Russia is our neighbour. It seems impossible to speak about stability without a dialogue with Russia. We are neighbours. Maybe someone wants to have other neighbours that don't commit acts of aggression, but we want safety. We need to resume the dialogue that will allow us to return Crimea and stop terror in the Donbas region.”

Poroshenko also underscored that “Crimea was, is and will be Ukrainian”. According to him, there are no arguments to recognise the annexation of the peninsula by Russia.