"Let me put it bluntly, we are still in the state of war, and the key aggressor is the Russian Federation. And until we get the peace it would be really difficult to have real changes, " Arseny Yatseniuk told a conference attended by European and Ukrainian politicians and business leaders on Saturday.
Talking about Vladimir Putin, Yatseniuk said that "his goal is to take the entire Ukraine. He cannot cope with an idea that Ukraine would be a part of big EU family. He wants to restore the Soviet Union." Yatseniuk said Putin would not be content only with Crimea - annexed by Moscow in March - and with Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking eastern region.
"Russia is a threat to the global order and to the security and stability in the entire Europe. At the first stage he decided to annex Crimea, at the second one he want to build up a frozen conflict in Donetsk and Luhansk, at the third one he wants to facilitate the corridor from Donetsk and Luhansk to Kherson, Odessa and Transdniestria, and at the fourth one he wants to eliminate Ukraine as an independent country, this is my take on this," the Ukrainian prime minister said.
Attack on airport
A fragile ceasefire negotiated by envoys from Ukraine, Russia, the separatists and Europe's OSCE security watchdog, has been in place in eastern Ukraine for more than a week and is broadly holding despite sporadic violations. Renewed fighting flared up on Saturday in Donetsk between pro-Russian rebels and government forces, while Moscow sent a second convoy of trucks into Ukraine without Kiev's consent.
Ukraine's military operation said in a statement that it had successfully repelled a rebel attack on the government-held Donetsk airport, which came under artillery fire from rebel positions late on Friday.
Continuous rocket fire could be heard overnight. A statement posted on the city council website said that shells had hit residential buildings near the airport, although no casualties were reported.