14 Mar 2018 16:07

Poroshenko says Putin's Crimea trip dangerous provocation

KYIV. March 14 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko once again called on the international community not to recognize the Russian presidential election in Crimea and condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to visit the territory before the election.

"This is a dangerous provocation, where Russian President Vladimir Putin, right before the elections, is intentionally going to the occupied territory and visiting Simferopol and Sevastopol today. This is exactly why it is important for the entire world to assume a unified position and not recognize the Russian presidential election in the territory of occupied Crimea," Poroshenko said at a press conference given with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Poroshenko also thanked Austria for its decision not to recognize the results of the election and not to dispatch monitors to Crimea.

"We will pay particular attention to making sure that the world does not recognize this election in the occupied territory, that there are no monitors there, and that those immediately involved in the organization of this so-called election are held accountable, including by imposing sanctions on these individuals," he said.

The Ukrainian authorities regard Crimea, which became part of Russia in the spring of 2014, as temporarily occupied Ukrainian territory.