In general, atmosphere in the improvised press room was constructive.
Yet what shows President Poroshenko’s Administration’s unpreparedness for a frank discussion is the fact that, for three years since this writer, a correspondent of Den, put a ticklish question the president in his first year in office: “Are we at war or do we conduct trade, Mr. President?” the president’s spokesman Sviatoslav Tseholko has stopped “noticing” our badge at press conferences. Well, I hope the head of state’s spokesman will at last settle his emotions and problems and will not hinder the president from communicating with one of the oldest newspapers in Ukraine.
ON THE ELECTION
“Firstly, I will definitely, with 100 percent certainty take part in the presidential election as a voter. I will definitely vote. In Ukraine. In Kyiv. My polling place is in the House of Officers. I emphasize that I will live in Ukraine after the election in whatever capacity I will be then. I care about Ukraine very much, I will do everything to prevent a comeback of the old regime. I do not understand what plan B you are talking about, I have not ever lost an election campaign.”
ON THE MALDIVES
“The information was communicated to the public and post factum. I stress that my flight was registered in accordance with the requirements of the legislation currently in force. If you do not have access to the database of the border guards, then this is personal data. You should not have that access, actually. But if a competent authority wants to check on the border guards’ actions, it will get access very easily. The head of the border service reported to me about the registration. I do not know if the Zhuliany private airport is building something. I stress that everything was done in accordance with the legislation. The president gets no vacations, because he may not delegate his powers to anyone.”
“We are ready to accept ships from Crimea, that is for sure. And we are not talking here about some minor reasons, like repairs or lack thereof, or absence of some equipment, no – we are ready to accept ships only together with Crimea. And I am sure that this is a shared position of the Verkhovna Rada and the Ukrainian government and public. And in order to expedite this process, we will use all the diplomatic opportunities.”
ON RELATIONS WITH POLAND
“Our relations are developing very dynamically. You remember the visit of President Duda to Kharkiv. I met him in Davos. I met the Polish prime minister in Munich. We have set up a commission at the level of deputy prime ministers tasked with the development of a roadmap to get out of this situation which arose after a series of steps. As for Poland adopting that law... We do not need anyone to tell us which heroes are to be honored and which are not. Likewise, we will not dictate to Poland which heroes they are to honor or not. I am sure that politicians should look to the future, and leave the past to historians. I am confident that when we will be implementing this concept, we will achieve good results with Poland.”
“No major political problems began in Ukraine. And I didn’t take away his passport. But I granted him citizenship deliberately. I was also enchanted with the prospects Mr. Saakashvili could bring to Ukraine. I gave him complete freedom. He was the governor of Odesa oblast… All of us saw no results. And when I received a report from the law-enforcement bodies about infractions during the application for citizenship, I had nothing to do but revoke his citizenship in full accordance with the Constitution. Had there been no check on the citizenship application, we would still perhaps be nursing hopes and dreams. But Mikheil dashed them himself, and I don’t think he is a happy man now. The question of readmission to Poland – after he had breached the law while crossing the border, which was confirmed by a court – was solved flawlessly from the viewpoint of the Ukrainian law, international obligations, and the rule of law.”
Poroshenko stresses that he will cooperate with all who will help liberate Ukrainian hostages: “I must admit that Medvedchuk has proved to be most effective of them all, because Putin makes these decisions personally.”
“De-oligarchization means excluding oligarchs from political power institutions in Ukraine. What, has Firtash’s position improved here? Has he come to Ukraine? Does Firtash control the parliament, or the cabinet? Or maybe it is Kolomoiskyi who does this? Am I right, you, from the 1+1 TV channel? There are some channels that hit the president hard. I know this and I am not afraid of it. You will not get anywhere. As for Akhmetov and Rotterdam+. What is Rotterdam+? I am not going to defend it at all. This is just an exchange indicator.”