MOSCOW, March 21. /TASS/. Ukraine’s incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko cannot win the upcoming presidential election fairly so he will continue to stir up hysteria, seeking to retain power, Russian State Duma (the lower house of parliament) Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said, commenting on Kiev’s move to blacklist him.
According to him, the Ukrainian president’s statement about his determination to take Crimea back "is part of his election campaign, where one of the candidates, Ukrainian President Poroshenko, is an outsider, so this statement, as well as the previous ones and the Kerch Strait incident, are aimed at retaining power." "This hysteria will most likely escalate because he clearly cannot win fairly," the State Duma speaker pointed out.
"And it is also clear that this kind of election has no credibility," Volodin concluded.
On Monday, Poroshenko explained the ICTV channel what he meant when he spoke about political and diplomatic measures to restore Kiev’s control over Crimea. In short, the Ukrainian president’s plan is focused on increasing sanctions pressure on Russia.
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests erupted in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence.
On March 16, 2014, Crimean authorities held a referendum on reuniting with Russia. Over 80% of voters participated in the plebiscite, most of them supporting the idea (96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol).
On March 18, President Vladimir Putin signed the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the Federal Assembly (parliament) approved the document on March 21. However, Kiev has so far refused to acknowledge Crimea as part of Russia.
Ukrainian presidential election
The Ukrainian presidential election is scheduled to take place on March 31. According to opinion polls, comedian Vladimir Zelensky leads the race, followed by leader of the Batkivshchina (or Fatherland) party Yulia Timoshenko and incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko.