"Until the Kremlin takes a decision that Russia should stop being an aggressor state, which captures territories (but it must finally realize their responsibility to the world for peace and stability) and get away from Donetsk and Luhansk, as well as from Crimea, the Russian terrorists will continue their attempts to escalate the situation and to destabilize the situation in Ukraine as whole", stressed Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk in an interview with the program "Events of the Week" on Ukrayina TV channel.
"What is my objective and an objective for the country? To achieve peace in Donbas. We should regain control over our territories, get rid of Russian mobsters and terrorists, return normal life, restore industry, which has been looted, destroyed and confiscated by those monsters. We must rehabilitate our state", he stressed.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk noted the importance to avoid victims in this process: "To avoid Ukrainian soldiers and civilians being killed".
"15 thousand people were injured, over 6 thousand killed as a result of the military conflict, which was provoked by Russia and has resulted from the only thing - painful Russian imperial ambition to seize and destroy Ukraine," he said.
"How to resolve the conflict? Vladimir Putin should take a document, known as the Minsk agreements, read and fulfil everything written there”:”First is to take away the bandits. The second is to withdraw the troops. The third - we are ready to have a discussion solely with the legitimately elected authorities in Donetsk and Luhansk. Let's have transparent and democratic elections. But elections are never democratic when Russian gangsters and soldiers with Kalashnikov guns are standing at each polling station".
"After that – to restore control over the border, resume economic life". We are ready to resume the banking sector in Donetsk and Luhansk. We must pay pensions and wages", stressed Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
The Head of Government emphasized that the Cabinet of Ministers had paid almost UAH 14 billion in pensions for the residents of Donbas who had registered in the fully controlled Ukraine’s territories. According to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, these pensioners enumerate about 900 thousand out of 1.1 million pensioners being residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions before the start of the Russian aggression in these areas.
At the same time, he noted, according to preliminary estimates the State Budget had lost USD 2.8 billion only from unpaid taxes and fees from Donbas over this period: "Not to mention the fact that during the winter we were supplying electricity and gas, and the total figure is additional USD 1 billion. But we have our citizens there".
Apart from that, he stressed the importance “to fight for the consciousness of Ukrainian citizens living in Donetsk and Luhansk”: “They are under incredible pressure by the Russian false propaganda. But they need access to Ukrainian channels to watch and enable us to convey our information".
Arseniy Yatsenyuk also noted, at this point such a scenario is not realistic: "I want it to happen. But Putin does not want it to happen – we see buildup of troops, accumulation of equipment, constant supply of weaponry, constant threatening".