Poroshenko: Martial law in Ukraine will be extended only in case of Russian attack

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko stated at a press conference in Kyiv that Ukrainian authorities won’t extend martial law unless Russia conducts "large-scale aggression."

“If there is no large-scale aggression or the invasion of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation into the territory of Ukraine beyond the demarcation line and the administrative border of the Crimea, the Martial law will not be extended,” TV Channel 112 Ukraine cited the President as saying.

Poroshenko also added that preparations for the Presidential Elections on March 31 will begin after the end of the martial law regime.

Martial law was introduced on November 26 in ten regions of Ukraine for a period of 30 days as a response to the incident in the Kerch Strait where the Russian Navy attacked and seized three Ukrainian Navy ships and their crew. The FSB asserted that the Ukrainian sailors were detained for violating the Russian border. The detainees were later arrested.

Ukraine claims that Russia was warned about the maneuvers, and that the former considers the incident an act of aggression. Moscow has described the incident as a provocation.

 During the martial law, Russian men aged 16 to 60 are barred from entering Ukraine. According to the State Border Service of Ukraine, as of December 9, 900 Russians have been refused entry into the country since the beginning of martial law.

  Ukraine, Poroshenko, Kerch Strait, Crimea, Russia