Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko believes his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin wants to return Ukraine to the “Russian Empire,” he told CNN in an interview on Wednesday.
Poroshenko, who was due to meet Putin along with the leaders of France and Germany next month, before Putin decided he did not want to, spoke on the 25th anniversary since Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
He said it was the “direct responsibility” of Moscow that Ukraine’s east was experiencing a sharp uptick of violence, which has killed 13 Ukrainian soldiers in recent weeks.
“The purpose of Putin is [an] attempt to destabilize the situation in Ukraine,” he said. “They don’t need Donetsk nor Luhansk. They need the whole of Ukraine should be a part of the Russian Empire.”
“They have only one purpose—[the] world should be less stable, less secured,” Poroshenko said of Russia. “It is absolutely the same situation like Russian bombardment in Aleppo,” he added, referring to Russia’s campaign in Syria.
“Russian aggression completely destroyed the post-war global security system,” he added.