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The incumbent Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko waited for his political rival and election opponent Volodomir Zelenskiy for 45 minutes at the Olympic National Sports Complex in Kiev on Sunday.
Ukrainian presidential candidate Volodomir Zelenskiy did not arrive at the stadium for a TV debate with Poroshenko, as he had invited his rival for the April 19, media reports.
In his refusal to meet with his rival this Sunday, Zelenskiy and his press team cited the law, which requires televised debate to be held on April 19th, a day before the Day of Silence.
“If he again hides away from people, if he is afraid again, we will invite him every day to every broadcast to make the whole country see who to choose for the next five years,” Poroshenko said.
During the debate-turned-presser, Poroshenko also said that he is not going to fire the ‘Minister of Defence nor a Minister for Foreign Affairs’, saying he will use his ‘right to offer candidates after the parliamentarian elections.’
The incumbent Ukrainian president expressed his concerns about the future of the Ukrainian nation.
“Ukraine is eager to be back in the ‘Europe family’ and it will not allow being pulled in back to the Russian Empire or to the revived Soviet Union. We will not allow it, we are ready to make a choice on April 21,” he told the crowds.
Poroshenko added that he will respect any choice made by his people “because Ukraine is a democratic state, and there are no doubts about it.”
The Ukrainian leader commented on electoral billboards with him and Russian President Vladimir Putin facing each other.
“I will never say that Putin and Zelenskiy are the same. It’s not true. I just want to remind Putin’s words, who said that ‘any other Ukrainian president except for Poroshenko is his dream’,” he said.
Zelenskiy won the first round of the presidential election on March 31, garnering some 30 percent of the vote. He will face Poroshenko in the run-off election on April 21.
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