Prime Minister’s meeting with Ukraine’s President: The scale of the Russian military exercise ‘Zapad 2017’ is alarming

2017 04 07
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Yesterday, Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis met with President Petro Poroshenko. Among other items on the agenda, including the economic cooperation and the successful bilateral relations, the counterparts discussed the Russian military exercise ‘Zapad 2017’ to be held next autumn.

The officials agreed that the scale of the exercises, covering the territories of the Baltic states and Ukraine, was alarming.

“We are worried about the plans for the military exercise ‘Zapad 2017’. The exercise will be held on the western borders of the Russian Federation and Belarus. Such actions have a negative implication for the security situation in Europe while increasing the risk of unforeseen incidents”, said Prime Minister Skvernelis.

The counterparts paid much attention to the bilateral economic cooperation. President Poroshenko stressed the importance of transport and logistics. He said that due to the Russian blockade, Ukraine had to look for other communication routes, therefore the transit option through Lithuania was very important.

The President thanked our country for the support and particularly for Prime Minister Skvernelis’ strong speech in the Kiev security forum. President Poroshenko also welcomed the decision taken early March by the Seimas European Affairs and Foreign Affairs Committees approving ‘Lithuania’s Plan for Ukraine for 2017-2020’. It defines our country’s initiatives related to the bilateral support for the Ukrainian reforms for a new period of 3 years.

The officials took the opportunity to welcome the enacted visa-free regime for Ukraine. This has opened up a possibility for Ukrainians to travel freely across many European Union countries.

President Poroshenko confirmed their determination to move forward with reforming without looking backwards. According to the President, this paves the way for Ukraine’s future in Europe.

(Photos by Ukrainian Presidential, president.gov.ua)