Russia must pull out all of its troops and mercenaries from Ukraine. Sanctions against Russia should be toughened until its troops are fully withdrawn from Ukraine, said Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the 9th Security Forum in Kiev, QHA reports.

Yatsenyuk has urged the international community to keep in place sanctions against Russia until the conflict in Donbass is over and annexed Crimea is returned to Ukraine.

Western countries have imposed some sanctions on Russia for its military annexation of Crimea and sending troops to Donbass in 2014.

“I am calling on the international community not to lift sanctions from Russia until Russian troops are withdrawn from Ukraine’s Donetsk, Lugansk and Crimea,” said Yatsenyuk.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk also thanked representatives of the international community for their support of Ukraine.

“Thank you for not leaving us in the cold,” he said.

According to Yatsenyuk, Ukraine is defending democratic changes and its European future by fighting Russia.

“We see no other alternative for Ukraine except joining the EU and NATO. This is the choice of our people who have shed their blood fighting for it,” Yatsenyuk said.

By addressing the 9th Security Forum in Kiev, Arseniy Yatsenyuk made his first public appearance since his resignation. In his today’s address to the Parliament, Yatsenyk requested for resignation, following which he left the session hall without waiting for voting results. He also thanked all those who helped him during his stint as Prime Minister.