The Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko told CNBC on Friday his country will look to engage with Russia on a military level if it fails to de-escalate tensions in east Ukraine by Monday.
A ceasefire in east Ukraine is currently in place after months of violence in the region. It was due to end late on Friday, but Ukraine reportedly agreed to extend it until Monday.
“I think that the ceasefire will expire and Ukraine will defend ourselves with all methods we have in our disposal, including military,” Poroshenko said at an EU summit in Brussels.
“Because we cannot accept that (they’re killing) Ukrainian soldiers. That our check points are captured and the tanks, artillery system are going to Ukraine,” he said.
Leaders from the European Union said they are ready to impose further sanctions on Russia if the Monday deadline is not respected. In a statement, the European Council also demanded the release of prisoners in east Ukraine and for officials to be granted control of three border checkpoints.
Despite threats of military action, Poroshenko stressed he was a “president of peace.”