MUNICH, Germany -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko sharply criticized his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and said the security of Europe and the world are at stake in Ukraine.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 13, Poroshenko called on Russia to fulfill its obligations under a deal aimed to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine by withdrawing Russian troops and ceding control of the border.
"Mr. Putin, this is not a civil war in Ukraine, this is your aggression...this is your soldiers who have entered my country," Poroshenko said in English.
More than 9,000 combatants and civilians have been killed in eastern Ukraine since fighting between government forces and Russia-backed separatists began in April 2014, following Russia's seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
Fighting has decreased dramatically since September 2015, but main aspects of the Minsk II deal to resolve the conflict have gone unfulfilled amid mutual recriminations.
Poroshenko said that it is "not only Ukraine, not only Ukrainian security" that is at stake. "This is European and global security," he said.
He warned that Putin is threatening Europe and its values, saying there is an illiberal "alternative Europe" and its "name is Vladimir Putin."
Putin did not attend the annual Munich conference. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, speaking earlier in the day at the conference, blamed Ukraine for problems with implementation of the Minsk II agreement.