February 28, the National Art and Museum Complex "Mystetsky Arsenal" hosted a press conference of the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko.

The event lasted two hours, more than 20 representatives of domestic media and journalists of the Reuters and British BBC services were able to ask their questions.

Meanwhile, outside the building of the Mystetskyi Arsenal, supporters of the ex-governor of the Odesa region Mikheil Saakashvili held a picket .

Before answering the questions, the President delivered a speech in which he spoke about the main challenges of Ukraine.

Armed Forces and the war in the east

The Head of state noted that the price of Russian aggression is growing due to the strengthening of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU) and the continuation of the Western sanctions against Russia.

"This reduces the risk of their further aggression, but does not nullify the threat to us," the president said.

At the same time, Poroshenko noted that one of the main priorities of Ukraine will be the strengthening of the Armed Forces.

However, Kyiv is an adherent of a peaceful way of restoring territorial integrity, Poroshenko stated.

Law on Donbas

The President noted the importance of adopting a law on the restoration of state sovereignty in the occupied part of the Donbas.

“This law has now come into force. Soon, the reorganization of the management of the Armed Forces of Ukraine within the framework of the law on reintegration will take place in Donbas," the guarantor of the Constitution said.

Poroshenko noted that in the issue of the reorganization of the management of the Armed Forces, one of the key points is civilian control over the army and the appointment of a civilian as defense minister.

Poverty in Ukraine

Poroshenko called poverty and low living standards of Ukrainians the main internal challenge.

“People are naturally disappointed with this. I understand this discontent and I share it," he said.

According to Poroshenko, Ukraine inherited from Yanukovych's power a backward economy, troubled loans and a banking system that was virtually bankrupt.

"The closure of the Russian market, the cut-off of gas, the blockage of transit - all this was an element of the hybrid war of the Russian Federation," the president said.

Middle class, uncontrolled armed formations and populism

The head of state called the representatives of the middle class a guarantor of Ukraine's stability, and noted that populists are helpless here.

“The middle class is our everything," he said, promising to introduce a law on the tax on the withdrawn capital and the drafting of a new currency law that would liberalize the monetary settlement.

The head of state said that populism and uncontrolled armed formations are problems that he promises to resolve.

“My mission is to prevent the recurrence of Ukraine's historical mistakes in this regard. I will protect the country from irresponsible populists.”

Holiday in the Maldives

Turning to the journalists' questions, Poroshenko had to double-explain about his vacation in the Maldives.

He stated that he had crossed the border during his trip to the Maldives under his own passport and under his own name.

"My flight was registered in the legislation, if any competent authority wants a check, it can do it then," he said.

Presidential elections

Poroshenko said that he would definitely take part in the elections, but as a voter.

“I will definitely take part in the elections as a voter. And after the elections, I will definitely live in Ukraine," he said.

Return of Sushchenko

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has no doubt that the illegally arrested journalist of Ukrinform, Roman Sushchenko, will return home after the so-called court in Russia.

Unhappy Saakashvili

The head of state, responding to a question about Saakashvili, gave his assessment of the activities of the former head of the Odesa Regional State Administration Mikheil Saakashvili.

"I do not think he's a happy man," Poroshenko said.

The President noted that he provided the former head of the Odesa Regional State Administration with great opportunities for carrying out reforms. According to Poroshenko, as a result of the inspections, it was possible to find out that Saakashvili could not justify the hopes for reforms in the Odesa region.