President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi have discussed the situation in Donbas and the international efforts aimed at stopping the aggression against Ukraine.
Following the meeting, the President has, inter alia, emphasized: "We have paid special attention to the necessity of unconditional compliance with the Minsk agreements and their immediate and consistent implementation. First of all, it concerns sustainable, firm and comprehensive ceasefire regime under the OSCE monitoring".
The President has informed the Prime Minister on the aftermath of recent negotiations in the Normandy format and on the agreements about the deployment of the OSCE monitoring unit in all dangerous areas of the border. "I hope that the given process will begin today," Petro Poroshenko noted. He is hopeful that it will be made first of all in the area of Donetsk airport where Russian-backed militants violate the ceasefire regime the most. Such control couldn't be established earlier because of a serious threat to the life of inspectors.
The parties have also discussed the prolongation and expansion of sanctions. "We have received clear position that the policy of sanctions will be broadened unless the aggression against Ukraine is terminated," the President stressed.
Petro Poroshenko has informed that the parties had particularly emphasized the necessity of compliance with all items of the Minsk agreements on the immediate liberation of all hostages under the principle "all for all". So far, the location of 190 out of more than 400 hostages has been determined. "We are waiting for an immediate fulfillment of the undertaken commitments on the release of hostages by Russia," the President emphasized.
The Head of State has particularly touched upon the issue of immediate liberation of Nadiya Savchenko who has been starving for 82 days already demanding her release from the Russian prison. The President has informed that he had sent a letter to President Vladimir Putin with a request on immediate liberation of Nadiya Savchenko, inter alia, due to her health conditions. The President has asked the Italian Prime Minister to raise this issue and help solve "this extremely urgent and acute problem".
In his turn, the Prime Minister of Italy has assured the Ukrainian President of the solidarity and support towards the actions of Ukraine in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Matteo Renzi has emphasized the need for a strict fulfillment of the plan on peaceful settlement of the situation in Donbas and ensuring full monitoring and verification by the OSCE of all the technical tasks achieved in Minsk.
"Italy is the second greatest group in the OSCE SMM in Donbas and despite the difficulty of the task, we are doing our best to establish peace in Ukraine," Matteo Renzi said.
The Prime Minister of Italy has also emphasized that his country is interested in establishing peace in Ukraine: "There will be no peace in Europe without peace in Ukraine. Europe teaches us that. If there is a threat to peace, Europe must immediately respond to it and not remain indifferent".
The President has mentioned a very difficult humanitarian situation in Donbas. Petro Poroshenko has thanked the Italian Government for the allocation of humanitarian assistance. "We have received a decision on the allocation of humanitarian assistance in the amount of several several hundred thousand euros for the organization of humanitarian convoys with participation of the ICRC. It is a pleasure that Italy does not stay aside in solving these humanitarian problems," the President noted.
The Head of State has congratulated Matteo Renzi on the first visit to Ukraine for him as Prime Minister of Italy. "We hope to continue the dynamics of bilateral political cooperation," the President said.
Petro Poroshenko has thanked Matteo Renzi for an "honest, friendly and constructive conversation". "I was pleased to hear from the Italian Prime Minister the words of unity of the EU and firm position of Italy regarding the protection of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine. It concerns both Crimea and Donbas," the President emphasized.
The Head of State has expressed hope that the Italian Parliament would soon ratify the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. "We are expecting this to take place in the nearest time. It will be another important phase of our cooperation," Petro Poroshenko said.
"I would like to thank the Italian people for their care about Ukraine. It was a pleasure for me to hear from the Prime Minister that Ukraine enjoys a broad support in the Italian society. Ukrainian-Italian relations are at the very high level now," Petro Poroshenko noted. The Head of State has expressed special gratitude to the Ukrainians living in Italy. "They take an active part in socio-political life of Italy and actively help Ukraine and the Ukrainian Armed Forces ensure security and sovereignty of our state," the President stressed.