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Ukraine's Poroshenko Warns Against 'Appeasing' Russia

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrives at the 53rd Munich Security Conference on February 17
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko arrives at the 53rd Munich Security Conference on February 17

MUNICH, Germany -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has urged Western nations to reject calls for the "appeasement" of Russia.

In impassioned remarks during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference on February 17, Poroshenko suggested that U.S. and EU sanctions imposed over Moscow's interference in his country should remain in place.

Poroshenko said that Russian President Vladimir Putin "hates Ukraine" and "sees no place for Ukraine on the political map of Europe."

Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Kyiv's control in March 2014, after sending in troops and staging a referendum considered illegitimate by most countries.

The Kremlin also supports pro-Russia separatist forces in a war that has killed more than 9,750 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

WATCH: Poroshenko Warns Against 'Appeasement' Of Russia

Poroshenko Warns Against 'Appeasement' Of Russia
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Lamenting what he said were "increasing calls for some degree of appeasement" of Moscow, Poroshenko warned that "it would be a mistake to think that Russia's appetite" is limited to Ukraine.

He called on the West to help stop "Russian revanchism," saying: "The time is now, and the place is Ukraine."

Poroshenko said that three Ukrainian servicemen had been killed and 12 wounded in eastern Ukraine in the previous 24 hours, adding that most of the casualties were in Avdiyivka -- a government-held town where fighting has flared up in recent weeks.

Speaking on the same panel at the annual conference in Munich, U.S. Senator John McCain urged the West to step up support for Ukraine.

McCain said Russians "are killing" Ukrainians every day, and said he thinks "it's going to get worse, because...this is a time of testing" the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump by countries such as China and Russia.

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    Steve Gutterman

    Steve Gutterman is the editor of the Russia/Ukraine/Belarus Desk in RFE/RL's Central Newsroom in Prague and the author of The Week In Russia newsletter. He lived and worked in Russia and the former Soviet Union for nearly 20 years between 1989 and 2014, including postings in Moscow with the AP and Reuters. He has also reported from Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as other parts of Asia, Europe, and the United States.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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