In an exclusive interview with DW, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko commented about the continuing fighting in Ukraine despite an official ceasefire and discussed Ukraine's chance of becoming a NATO member.
Mr. Poroshenko said he's optimistic about the European Union's solidarity with Ukraine and that he believes Kyiv will eventually join NATO. "Our position is to reform the country. We need at least six or seven years to meet the criteria. The world would be more secure if Ukraine had an opportunity to do that," Poroshenko said.
Almost a daily occurence of fire exchange keeps Ukraine in a volatile position.
OSCE is keeping track of the ceasefire violations.
Mr. Poroshenko defended the implementation of the Minsk Agreement, saying Kyiv has been fully cooperating with the OSCE. "Ukraine is a very responsible state and a very responsible part of the Minsk Agreement. We do everything we promise. We are fully implementing the Minsk Agreement, including the withdrawal of heavy artillery and weapons", he said.
When DW asked whether Crimea may be lost forever, President Poroshenko said there is no excuse for Russia's annexation of Crimea and compared it to the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938.
"The situation in Crimea is a complete 'Anschluss,' is an annexation of sovereign Ukrainian territory, is a brutal violation of international law. At the end of the day, international law and order should be restored," he said, adding that aggressors should be punished and that the people of Crimea want to be Ukrainian.