Ukraine's Poroshenko 'proud to be in Paris' for unity rally
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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was among the many heads of state who joined François Hollande in Paris on Sunday to lead a unity rally after a series of deadly terrorist attacks. In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, the Ukrainian president expressed his solidarity with the French people in the face of terrorism.
"I am very proud to be here in Paris. It’s a unique moment, not only in French but in global history", he told FRANCE 24’s Marc Perelman. The Ukrainian president also claimed that Ukraine was itself facing terrorism in the east of the country.
Poroshenko accused Russia of delivering the anti-aircraft missile that was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July 2014. He said that German and Dutch journalists have produced "new and effective evidence" of the missile being delivered from Kursk, in Russia.
The Ukrainian president then voiced his concerns about the current situation in Ukraine. He insisted that peace was possible if the Minsk agreement was implemented. However, he said that the ceasefire - a key part of the Minsk deal - was not taking hold because Russian troops and weapons were continuing to cross into Ukraine. He said there are "more than 7,500 Russian soldiers" on Ukrainian soil.
Concerning the rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine, where the humanitarian situation is critical, Poroshenko said that Kiev is “ready to send them a humanitarian convoy”.
Finally, for the first time, he gave a figure for the amount of money Ukraine will need from international donors and lenders: 13 to 15 billion dollars this year and next.