MINSK, April 10. /TASS/. It is clear from the results of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election that voters do not support the current Kiev authorities’ aggressive policy concerning the Donbass conflict, Russian Permanent Representatives to the Contact Group on resolving the situation in eastern Ukraine Boris Gryzlov said on Wednesday following the Group’s meeting in Minsk.
He pointed out that ahead of the first round, the Ukrainian authorities had done everything possible to strengthen their position. "Several millions of voters were deprived of the right to vote. Many opposition activists faced persecution and threats, even when they emphasized the need for Ukraine to implement the Minsk Agreements. Martial law was declared in the run-up to presidential election," the Russian envoy added.
"But despite all that, the outcome of the first round of the presidential election came as an unpleasant surprise for Kiev’s warmongers and their foreign sponsors. Most Ukrainian voters made it clear they had no confidence in Kiev’s policy agenda," Gryzlov emphasized.
According to him, the election’s outcome also shows that the more people know about the actual situation in Donbass, the more they are likely to stand for dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk. "The position the Kiev delegation to the Contact Group has been advocating for the past several years, runs counter to their interests. During all these years, Kiev’s warmongers, supported by some foreign powers, sought to present their private interests as the interests of the Ukrainian people," the Russian envoy said.
Gryzlov was confident that the most important question was not who would come to power in Kiev following a runoff. "The main question is how Kiev’s policies will change. It is more important than a change of names," Gryzlov said. "If the Kiev authorities continue to pursue a policy aimed at using force against Donbass, refusing to build dialogue, it will mean that the Ukrainians have been deceived once again," he noted.
The Ukrainian presidential election was held on March 31. Leader of the Servant of the People political party Vladimir Zelensky is in the lead with 30.24% of the vote, followed by incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko, who garnered 15.95%. Since none of the candidates managed to get more than 50% of the vote, the top two are headed towards the runoff scheduled to take place on April 21.