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Ukraine intends to resume operation of checkpoints on border with Russia, Poroshenko says

October 19, 2014, 7:46 UTC+3 KIEV

“We agreed - and this is another outcome of the Milan visit - that Ukrainian border guards will resume their work in full measure,” Poroshenko said

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© Nikolay Lazarenko/TASS

KIEV, October 19 /TASS/. Ukraine’s passage points on Ukraine’s border with Russia will resume operation soon, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said in an interview with Ukraine’s leading television channels on Saturday.

“We agreed - and this is another outcome of the Milan visit - that Ukrainian border guards will resume their work in full measure,” Poroshenko said adding that restoration of control over the Ukrainian-Russian border was one of the key points of the Minsk protocol.

Things will get back to normal at the Gukovo and Izvarino border checkpoints. All the goods will be inspected according to the Ukrainian law. These customs checkpoints will resume operation next week, Poroshenko said.

“There is a group of border guards and customs officers who are ready to resume work at the Izvarino checkpoint,” the Ukrainian president said.

He noted that the heads of the border services of Ukraine and Russia should discuss the conditions and order of resuming the work early next week.

The situation at several checkpoints on the Ukrainian-Russian border has aggravated sharply since the start of summer 2014. Military hostilities were under way in the Ukrainian territory during which Russian border and customs checkpoints often came under artillery fire. The Russian Investigation Committee initiated criminal proceedings on all cases of shelling of the Russian territory that claimed human lives. The investigators want to establish whether the Ukrainian military were linked to those crimes.

A number of Ukrainian checkpoints had to be closed because of the dangerous situation.

General demobilization

Poroshenko said there would be no general demobilization of conscript soldiers from Ukrainian army.

Only conscript servicemen who agree to continue their army service on contract could be demobilized in the near future.

“I have prepared a decree, which is going to be published next week,” Poroshenko told Ukraine’s leading television channels on October 18.

According to Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, Poroshenko’s previous statements on demobilization distributed by the media had provoked riots and protests among servicemen in dozens of Ukrainian cities.

In his interview with Ukraine’s TV channels Poroshenko explained what had prompted him to prepare the decree on demobilization of soldiers who want to become contract servicemen.

“Serve in the army but get more money. Naturally, it is fair. As the president of this country, I am going to submit this proposal,” Poroshenko who is the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces added.

On October 11, President Poroshenko said he did not have an opportunity to demobilize conscript servicemen who were involved in security operations in eastern Ukraine. He explained that the first steps towards general demobilization could be made only after a permanent ceasefire was established and as soon as the line of defenses was built.

Parliamentary elections

Snap parliamentary elections due to take place in Ukraine on October 26 should be fair and transparent, Ukrainian President said.

“It is vitally important for us to create a parliamentary coalition with 300 votes,” Poroshenko said adding he had already ordered to draft a coalition agreement.

He added that the parliamentary majority at Verkhovnaya Rada /Ukrainian parliament/ “should be united by the idea of European integration, the strategy of reform and effective judicial reform as well as the task of creating an attractive investment climate in the country.

“We are ready to form a team jointly with democratic forces. We are open for consultations,” Poroshenko said.

Speaking about the principles of forming a majority coalition in a new parliament to be elected on October 26, the Ukrainian president said that unlike in the past it would not be formed on party quotas.

“The new coalition should be based on the strategy of reforms, the European course and the principles of fight against corruption,” Poroshenko stressed.

The Ukrainian president said that Ukraine should get a new government by mid-November when a new IMF mission was expected to arrive in Kiev.

“We are short of time. The IMF mission is expected in Kiev by mid-November. But it can arrive only after we have formed a cabinet of ministers,” Poroshenko said.

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