'Ukraine under threat of full-scale war with Russia': President Petro Poroshenko
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has claimed that the country is under the threat of a "full-scale war with the Russian Federation" as martial law was enforced along the country's border with Russia for a month starting today.
"And that is why I don't want anybody to think that it's a trifle. The country is under the threat of a full-scale war with the Russian Federation," Poroshenko told local media.
He also vowed to "struggle by all possible means" to bring back the Ukrainian sailors who have been detained by Russia following a skirmish at Kerch Strait on November 25.
This comes in the wake of 12 Ukrainian sailors being sentenced to a two-month detainment by a court in Simferopol, Crimea, according to CNN.
The President's website also stated that Ukraine's decision to enforce martial law is being supported by its western allies. "We see absolute support and understanding of the decisions made by the Military Cabinet, the National Security and Defense Council, the President, and the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine's unicameral Parliament)," Poroshenko highlighted.
Trying to allay fears regarding the prolongment of the martial law without the Parliament's support, the President stated, "According to the law, the validity term will end, as far as I understand, on December 26 ... There was absolute nonsense yesterday in the Verkhovna Rada when everyone was frightened by the fact that the President will prolong the effect of martial law for an indefinite period of time without the Verkhovna Rada. The law does not provide for such opportunities. This was a straightforward misinformation. It was a fake news campaign aimed to disrupt the adoption of this Law."
He also underscored that constitutional rights of the Ukrainian citizens will not be restricted during the time under martial law until there is a Russian "invasion outside of the JFO in the east and the illegally annexed Crimea".
"The purpose of this martial law is to show that the enemy will pay a very high price if he decides to attack us and that it will be like a cold shower that will stop the insane who have plans to attack Ukraine. And if there is no aggression, consider that the goal of these actions has been achieved," he further said.
Poroshenko also noted that elections cannot be held in the nation during martial law, mentioning that he would be doing 'his best' to prepare legislative initiatives that would allow for elections in the united communities.
On the other hand, US President Donald Trump threatened to cancel his meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Argentina over the Kerch Strait incident, highlighting that he does not like "that aggression".
The US, in a press release, had earlier extended its support to Ukraine and had condemned the incident in the strongest terms where the country reiterated its rejection of Russia's "attempted annexation of Crimea".
Three Ukrainian ships were impounded by Russia at the Kerch Strait on Sunday, leading to a tense situation and conflicting reasons given by both the nations over the incident.
While Ukraine states that two of its small gunboats and one tugboat were attacked by Russia when they entered the Kerch Strait, the Russian Foreign Ministry states that Ukraine provoked the country by crossing the Russian maritime border despite Russia's warning to stop.