In the interview with Ukrainian TV channels, the President of Ukraine reported the results of the meeting in the Normandy format held between the leaders of Ukraine, France, Germany and Russia on October 2 in Paris and disclosed the main achievements and new challenges and threats brought by the meeting.
The main result of the Paris summit is the "transition from ceasefire regime to the regime of truce after the withdrawal of troops and increasing the OSCE function".
"This is the new reality and we've been moving to it for a long year and a half. This is an important achievement when Ukrainians are not dying and nobody is shooting," the President emphasized. He said that any other issues - political, humanitarian, socio-economic, could be discussed only in conditions of an armistice.
The President noted that "the next steps, and we begin to believe they are possible, are to return Ukraine to Donbas". He stressed that "without elections under the Ukrainian legislation, without political solution, withdrawal of troops, return of Ukrainian media and Ukrainian parties, it is impossible to return Ukrainian sovereignty to Donbas". "As guarantor of the Constitution and as President of Ukraine, I will severely fight for every scrap of Ukrainian land. Donbas first, then - Crimea," Petro Poroshenko said.
The President stressed that the main topics of discussion in Paris had been the timing and steps to accelerate and strengthen the implementation of Minsk II. He noted that "the results are very convincing," but added that "if any item of the Minsk agreement is not fulfilled, there will be responsibility - sanctions, their strengthening and continuation". "We do not have other mechanisms," he said.
Also, the President explained the essence of disputes during negotiations. According to him, there were some proposals that couldn't be accepted by the Ukrainian party. For example, the President will not accept IDPs being deprived of the right to vote at the next local elections in Donbas.
"As President, I will not allow that. These are Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian "anchor" of Donbas. They will vote at these elections no matter how much somebody wants the opposite. I am the guarantor of the Constitution and I must ensure their constitutional right. I will not let anyone infringe on this right," Petro Poroshenko said.
The second position touched upon the feasibility of limiting the right of Ukrainian political parties to participate in local elections in Donbas. The President emphasized: "Ukrainian political parties will fully participate in the elections in Donbas".
Also, according to the President, the Ukrainian side has defended the position that the activity of Ukrainian media will be a mandatory condition for democratic elections in Donbas. "There will be no elections without full participation of Ukrainian media. For this is the right of Ukrainians in Donbas to know the truth," he stressed.
The President emphasized that despite the attempts of Russian media and the "fifth column" in Ukraine to promote certain theses about the possibility of amnesty for all militants and their participation in elections, as well as the necessity of making amendments to the law on special regime of local self-government before the elections, the position of Ukraine and its partners in the course of the negotiations had remained unchanged.
"Jointly with its partners from Germany and France, Ukrainian delegation in Paris clearly emphasized that there will be no amendments to the Minsk agreements," Petro Poroshenko stressed.
The President informed on the main threat before the meeting in Paris: holding of illegal local elections on October 18 and November 1.
"We remember last year when the Minsk agreements were ruined by illegal elections. After the elections, thousands of people died in hostilities, civilians and militaries. It was an extremely high price both for Ukraine and Russia. Thus, the main goal was to prevent illegal fake elections and ensure the beginning of truce," the President noted.
In the course of the negotiations, the President offered to withdraw not only heavy weaponry, but also tanks, mortar launchers and artillery of caliber less than 100 mm. He reminded that the Ukrainian party had managed to ensure the signature of the given agreement on the eve of the meeting in Paris.
Another important outcome of the meeting was the increase of OSCE capabilities. The mission will increase the number of its officials and have access to the larger number of territories. Earlier, the OSCE could work only in the buffer area. Now, it will work throughout the occupied territory, where it has the mandate. "If somebody doesn't provide access, it will be a violation. There is a strict responsibility for that. Finally, the OSCE must have access to the uncontrolled area of the Ukrainian-Russian border right now," the Head of State emphasized.
He added that the "withdrawal of troops must be held regardless of elections". This position is clearly confirmed by the leaders of France and Germany and the Russian party was notified about that.