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Ukraine's Poroshenko Sees 'Risk' Of Russia Sanctions Easing


Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers his annual message in the Ukrainian parliament on September 20.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has warned that there is a risk of international sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine being eased.

In his annual address to parliament on Ukraine's domestic and foreign policy, Poroshenko warned on September 20 that making concessions to Russia before it had handed the Crimean Peninsula back to Ukraine would be a defeat for international law.

"We will consistently oppose attempts to ease the sanctions pressure on Russia," he told the Verkhovna Rada. "But know that there is a risk of softening [sanctions]."

Moscow's takeover of the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine prompted the United States, the European Union, and others to impose sanctions on Russia.

Fighting between Ukrainian government forces and the Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine has killed more than 10,300 since April 2014.

Peace accords signed in Belarus’s capital, Minsk, in September 2014 and February 2015, have failed to put an end to the fighting.

Outside the parliament building on September 20, at least four people were injured in clashes between police officers and demonstrators calling for foreigners who take part in the conflict to be granted citizenship

Scuffles Outside Ukrainian Parliament
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​Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service