Recently, a series of interrelated important events, pleasant and not so much, has taken place. As President, I would like to express my position on these issues. After signing the Association Agreement with the EU in June, its simultaneous ratification by the Verkhovna Rada and the European Parliament in September, the fulfillment of this agreement has officially begun on November 1. I congratulate you on that.
I will never let anyone suspend our movement towards Europe. The European aspirations of Ukrainians are determined by our nature itself. The nature of the European people. And there is no point in fighting against the nature.
It is symbolic that Ukrainians have recently reiterated their European choice finally and irrevocably. The CEC has almost completed the preliminary electronic counting. Along with the exit polls, it confirmed that constitutional majority of voters asserted the pro-European path. I am grateful to you, the Ukrainian voters, for such a civil stand.
I am also grateful for the high trust that allowed the Block of Petro Poroshenko to gain the highest credit of trust in the elections. 132 people's deputies from the Block have been elected. It is much more than from any other political force.
"People's Front", which got the second result in the terms of mandates, "Samopomich", which came third, Radical party and "Batkivshchyna", which overcame the 5% threshold must all join a pro-European coalition. But it is not a job of the President to create a coalition. In European practice, initiative in forming the coalition belongs to the political force that gained the highest number of mandates in the elections. I am confident that the Block of Petro Poroshenko will decently cope with the given task.
Under the Constitution, the coalition shall propose a Prime Minister to the President. Subsequently, he shall submit the given candidacy for approval by the newly-elected Verkhovna Rada. The future faction of the party "Block of Petro Poroshenko" has already supported my initiative to appoint Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the Head of the new Government. Still, the principle lies in a joint coordination of the European-style coalition agreement, the draft of which has already been submitted to partners and the public.
It is common for European politics to provide detailed coalition agreements with almost daily action plan. Coalition agreement is a contract between the coalition and the country. It cannot be a 3 pages-long document. Recently I had a conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Germany has a long history of coalition governance. Mrs. Merkel told me that based on her experience, the thicker the agreement is, the longer the coalition works.
As for the new Government composition, I stand for a complete renewal of the Cabinet of Ministers! It needs to be deprived of unprofessionalism and corrupt shackles of a party-quota principle. It must be formed solely on a professional basis and must start introducing reforms based on the parliament that is renewed by more than a half.
Elections of October 26 are also important for the reason that they were held in the liberated part of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. During the 17 years of Yanukovych's clan domination in the Donbas, people in the region have forgotten what is fair voting. For the first time in such a long period, Ukrainians who live in the two most eastern regions voted for their representatives in Verkhovna Rada freely and on a competitive basis. Frankly speaking, they have elected persons who are far from being heroes of our time. Though, it is important that they all stand for the unity of Ukraine. I respect the choice of the free part of the Donbas made in the elections to Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine on October 26. Being the President of all Ukrainians, I am ready for a dialogue with the people they have elected.
Yesterday's pseudo-elections in the part of the Donbas are completely opposite to the voting of October 26. Unfortunately, it is the part still controlled by militants. This farce at a gunpoint has nothing in common with the expression of the people's will. It cannot be called elections by its definition.
Bandits, terrorists and interventionists can coronate themselves as deputies, prime-ministers and ministers. They may even call themselves kings or emperors. Still, no matter what they put on their heads, they will remain occupants, criminals and militants. Ukraine will never recognize the so-called elections of November 2. We cannot respect the choice that exists neither actually nor legally. No country in the world that respects itself and the international law will recognize the so-called elections. This farce has already been condemned by the EU, the United States, dozens of our countries-partners. Spokesman of German Government stated today that abolition of sanctions against Russia was out of discussion.
Pseudo-elections are a brutal violation of Minsk protocol of September 5. Minsk protocol provides for holding of early local elections in the part of the Donbas solely under the laws of Ukraine. We provided them with the given opportunity. Farce of November 2 jeopardizes the entire peace process, the beginning of which has been achieved at the cost of outstanding efforts. It substantially worsens the situation in the Donbas. Performers, organizers and sponsors of pseudo-elections are fully responsible for that.
Ukraine strictly adheres to the letter and spirit of Minsk protocol. Against the backdrop of its brutal violation by the other parties, we have to adjust our plan of actions. I have already discussed the new situation with the Defense Minister. Tomorrow, I will have the NSDC meeting at which we will comprehensively analyze the situation and make necessary amendments to the scenarios of our actions taking into account both optimistic and pessimistic forecasts.
One of the issues to be submitted for consideration by the NSDC is the abolishment of the law on specifity of the local government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In due time, this law performed an extremely important role in stopping foreign invasion, mobilizing world's support of Minsk peace agreements, sincerity of Ukraine's intentions to de-escalate the situation in the Donbas. We demonstrated to the residents of Donetsk and Luhansk regions as well as to the whole world that we are sincere in our desire for the political settlement. Militants have rejected this opportunity. Holding of the pseudo-elections undermined the law and aggravated the situation in the Donbas. We are ready to provide broad powers stipulated by the law only to the legally elected local government, not to the bandits who coronate themselves.
However, decentralization remains in our arsenal as a key element of political settlement in the Donbas. We will be willing to approve the new law if all the parties return to fulfillment of the Minsk protocol, namely ceasefire, creation of a buffer zone, border control and militants' clear actions that imply the reverse in the so-called elections of November 2.
The new law will provide for clear boundaries of districts with special order of local government in clear conformity with Minsk agreements. It will also provide for budgetary decentralization that will eliminate the irritating question "who feeds whom". It will let these districts be responsible for their self-funding on the basis of their own resources. Everyone will be judged by his work.
The International Fund, filled by foreign partners, will fully ensure the restoration of infrastructure under the condition of Ukrainian authority, peace and security in the Donbas. Eventually I will suggest the Parliament to adopt the law on the establishment of a free economic area in the Donbas with a special regime of trade relations with the EU and Russia.
Despite provocations, the diplomatic path of resolution remains the priority for the Ukrainian authorities. However, we will continue intensive reinforcement of our defense capacity in case of unwelcome developments. This issue will also be considered at the NSDC meeting tomorrow.
I believe in our unity and victory, for the truth is with us.
Glory to Ukraine!