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What awaits Ukraine: Russian senator expects Poroshenko to nix 2019 presidential election

The politician believes that the situation will exacerbate in two months with restrictions to be imposed under the already-declared martial law

MOSCOW, November 26. /TASS/. After imposing martial law in the country, the next step by Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko will be the cancellation of the upcoming presidential election scheduled for next spring, Russian Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Foreign Affairs Committee First Deputy Chairman Vladimir Dzhabarov told TASS on Monday.

"Logic suggests that martial law primarily envisages full mobilization, further putting the country’s armed forces on full alert, restricting civil rights and freedoms, and abolishing any elections. The [Ukrainian government] hasn’t announced any of these measures yet, having just declared martial law to make the Ukrainian people get used to it," Dzhabarov explained.

He believes that the situation will exacerbate in two months with restrictions to be imposed under the already-declared martial law. "Particularly, I think that Poroshenko’s next step will be to cancel the presidential election next spring. That’s why the provocation with the Ukrainian ships crossing Russia’s territorial waters had been initiated. It [provocation] is aimed at keeping Poroshenko in power because he has no other options left," the legislator stressed.

The foreign affairs committee member is confident that the Ukrainian leader will not launch an offensive against Russia because he realizes that "Ukraine is no match for the power of the Russian army."

Dzhabarov also added that he anticipated that Kiev would break off diplomatic relations with Russia by declaring martial law. "They are not ready for this either because in this case they would have to abandon visa-free bilateral travel between Ukrainian citizens and ours. They won't do that either. As far as I can see, Poroshenko is desperate, he doesn’t even understand what he is doing now," he specified.

Sea of Azov standoff

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on November 25 that the Ukrainian warships, the Berdyansk, the Nikopol and the Yany Kapu had violated the Russian state border on Sunday morning and again attempted to carry out illegal maneuvers in Russia’s territorial waters later. The Ukrainian vessels ignored legitimate demands of the Coast Guard of the FSB Border Service and the Black Sea Fleet to immediately halt, and stop performing dangerous maneuvers. A chase involving some gunfire had been used in order to stop the Ukrainian ships, which were detained in the Russian territorial waters. Criminal proceedings are being initiated for violating the state border of the Russian Federation.

The Treaty on the Legal Status of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, signed in 2003, confirmed their status as the domestic waters of Russia and Ukraine. The parties agreed on the joint usage and protection of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait and introducing restrictions on vessels belonging to third countries.