KIEV, April 9. /TASS/. The headquarters of presidential candidate Pyotr Poroshenko has confirmed that the billboards on which the incumbent president appears face-to-face with Russian president Vladimir Putin is an official promotional product.
Sources from the headquarters said they hadn’t deemed it necessary to coordinate this with the Russian leader. "Of course we did not ask for Putin’s consent. Putin is outside the law," the headquarters said in comments on Ukrainian experts’ saying it was unlawful to use images of a person without his consent.
Poroshenko’s representatives maintain that "the task of an advertising peace is to remind the country that in conditions of such challenges from outside, a strong president and supreme commander is needed, a professional, well-educated and experienced diplomat, a skillful negotiator with high international rating".
Putting the two presidents face-to-face, the billboard is aimed at showing that Poroshenko can "face" the Russian leader.
Early on Tuesday, newspapers were distributed in the Kiev metro with the images of Poroshenko and Putin looking into each other’s eyes on the front page. The inscription read: "Choose on April 21!" Besides, similar billboards appeared on the streets of Kiev and Kharkov.
The election advertising campaign of Poroshenko, who is running for a second term in office, is aimed at splitting the country, the leader of the Civil Position Party, Anatoly Gritsenko, said on Tuesday in comments on Poroshenko weaponizing the Russian president for political points.
"This is dangerous for the country. The advertising and newspapers that are circulated by Poroshenko’s headquarters, are intentionally splitting the country into two," said Gritsenko, who had earlier dropped out of the presidential race.
President Poroshenko had built his election campaign around matching up himself against the Russian president. He said the Russian leader was his main opponent at the election, and those who were against him therefore support Putin.
In the run-up to the election’s second round, Poroshenko is disseminating leaflets and plastering images on billboards throughout the streets nationwide showing the two leaders face-to-face with a couple of slogans reading: "April 21. A Crucial Choice" or "April 21. The Choice Is Yours!".