Poroshenko Calls For Support of Efforts to Unify Pro-European Forces in Ukraine

© REUTERS / Gleb GaranichUkrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, January 14, 2016
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks during a news conference in Kiev, Ukraine, January 14, 2016 - Sputnik International
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called Monday for unification of Ukraine's democrats, taking pro-European stance, as well as to refrain from turning political struggle into a war without rules.

A protester throws stone on Maidan square in Kiev, Ukraine, Feb 19, 2014 - Sputnik International
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KIEV (Sputnik) – Poroshenko said, that he expected to be supported in the struggle for strategic unity of all the pro-European democratic forces in Ukraine.

"Criticism should not be turned into destruction or elimination of the foundation for the Ukrainian statehood. Criticizing the president, the Cabinet of Ministers, the Parliament and other institutions, it is necessary to maintain respect [for them] and to support these institutions," Poroshenko said in a speech, delivered on occasion of the third anniversary of Euromaidan.

The Ukrainian president stressed that controversies between the government and opposition are inherent in any democracy, but they must not result in a civil war, which may make the state vulnerable to external threats.

In 2013-2014, Kiev's central Independence Square, known as Maidan, witnessed months of the pro-European protests sparked by then President Viktor Yanukovych's announcement to reject the Ukraine–EU Association Agreement over unfavorable terms.

In February 2014, violent clashes with law enforcement officials broke out in the square, claiming the lives of some 100 civilians. The protests and the subsequent coup led to military confrontation between Kiev forces and militias in eastern Ukraine.

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