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Kremlin: New Ukrainian leader will have to build up relations with Russia

Ukraine's runoff election will be held on Sunday

MOSCOW, April 19. /TASS/. Ukraine’s new leader will not need to seek any deals with Moscow, he will have to develop mutually beneficial relations with Russia for the benefit of the two countries, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

"No deals with Putin or Moscow are needed. It is essential to build up normal, good, mutually beneficial relations based on mutual trust, cooperation and interaction in the interests of both Russians and Ukrainians living in Russia and Ukraine," he said.

He thus commented on remarks by Viktor Medvedchuk, Chairman of the Political Council of the Opposition Platform - for Life party, who said that Vladimir Zelensky would have to seek a deal with Russia in the event of his win at the presidential election in Ukraine.

Ukraine presidential election

The Kremlin hopes that the future Ukrainian president will have a different approach towards the prospects for relations with Russia and will not be a proponent of resolving the situation in Donbass through the use of force, Dmitry Peskov said.

"One always wants to hope for the best," he said. "Of course, we would like to hope that the person who will be elected Ukraine’s president will not be part of the ‘party of war,’ that this person will rule out the use force to resolve the situation in Donbass. We would also like to hope that this person will have a different approach towards the prospects for cooperation between Russia and Ukraine."

Peskov stressed though that was not referring to any particular Ukrainian presidential contenders. "I told you that any individual who will be elected [Ukraine’s] president," he noted. "I told you what we would like to see. I did not pin any hopes on anyone."

"In all fairness, it must be said that none of the candidates gave any consistent explanations concerning the prospects for the Minsk agreements, the prospects for Donbass, the prospects for the self-proclaimed republics, the prospects for relations with Moscow. All that continues to be sort of a ‘grey zone’ for us, which is yet to be heard and understood," he concluded.

Vladimir Zelensky, a presidential contender from the Servant of the People party, garnered 30.24% of the vote in the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election held on March 31. That’s almost twice as many compared to incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko who secured 15.95%. The runoff election is scheduled for April 21.