- Title: Ukraine president hopes to secure defensive weapons from Westerm allies
- Date: 7th September 2017
- Summary: KIEV, UKRAINE (SEPTEMBER 7, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT BUILDING COAT OF ARMS ON TOP OF BUILDING PARLIAMENT SESSION IN PROGRESS GOVERNMENT MEMBERS, INCLUDING UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER, VOLODYMYR GROYSMAN (RIGHT), IN PARLIAMENT POROSHENKO WALKING TOWARDS PODIUM MPS LISTENING TO PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "We hope that we will successfully complete negotiations with our Western partners on supplies of defensive weapons." PARLIAMENT SPEAKER, ANDRIY PARUBIY, AND DEPUTY PARLIAMENT SPEAKER, IRYNA GERASHCHENKO, LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "We cannot rule out that under the disguise of strategic command drills new strike groups of Russian troops will be created and used to invade Ukraine. 7,000 platforms carrying soldiers and equipment approached or are approaching our borders. And unfortunately, we don't have any guarantees that they will come back home from Belarus to Russia after drills finish." SCREEN SHOWING PRESIDENT ADDRESSING PARLIAMENT (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "As a pre-condition, we need to maintain macroeconomic stability. We need to implement the IMF program, without which Ukraine would have been extremely vulnerable, especially if we take into account that maximum external debt payment falls on 2019." SECURITY OFFICIALS LISTENING (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT, PETRO POROSHENKO, SAYING: "The approach of planned presidential and parliamentary votes makes the idea of holding early elections even more irrational. My position is unchanged: everything should happen in the timelines determined by the constitution. (AUDIO OF APPLAUSE) It's absolutely necessary in order to secure free, transparent, competitive and fair campaign." MINISTERS LISTENING MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT APPLAUDING TO PRESIDENT
- Embargoed: 21st September 2017 12:26
- Keywords: president parliament Petro Poroshenko IMF annual address aggression Russia Ukraine early elections
- Location: KIEV, UKRAINE
- City: KIEV, UKRAINE
- Country: Ukraine
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016XLKIMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday (September 7) he hoped to complete talks with Western allies on the supply of defensive weapons, as he warned that upcoming Russia-Belarus military exercises could be cover for an invasion of Ukraine.
In the address to the Ukrainian parliament the president urged lawmakers to pass necessary anti-corruption and pension reforms adding that the country would be extremely vulnerable if it did not stick with a $17.5 billion International Monetary Fund aid programme.
Ukraine has so far received $8.4 billion from the IMF, helping it recover from a two-year recession following the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and the outbreak of a Russian-backed insurgency in its industrial east.
Further disbursements depend in part on the implementation of pension reform and a review of gas prices that could lead to a rise in utility tariffs. Both policies face stiff opposition from populist forces in parliament.
Poroshenko said he opposed holding elections earlier than is mandated by the constitution.
The presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2019 but many lawmakers have talked up the prospects of an early vote. Poroshenko currently trails the main opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko in opinion polls.
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