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Ethnic affairs agency head hopes Ukraine’s new authorities will fight nationalism

Head of the agency Igor Barinov said "nationalism in Ukraine is now an integral part of political life"

UNITED NATIONS, April 23. /TASS/. Head of Russia’s Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs Igor Barinov expects the new Ukrainian authorities to fight aggressive nationalism.

"It is difficult to say now. We need to see the first steps, the first statements, the first actions of the new president," he told TASS on the sidelines of the 18th session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. "Of course, one would like to hope for the best."

"I don’t think things will be the same the way it was before, because Pyotr Poroshenko’s government did its utmost to terminate any contacts, any positive things in relations between our countries," he pointed out.

According to Barinov, "nationalism in Ukraine is now an integral part of political life." "Will the country’s new leadership be able to resist its aggressive pressure? I would like to hope that this will happen," he went on to say. "If not, we will again return to the confrontation and mutual accusations."

Barinov voiced regret over the fact that "this very active and aggressive nationalist minority" prevails over "the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian people who do not want to be at odds with Russia."

Ukraine’s presidential runoff took place on April 21. Vladimir Zelensky who represents the Servant of the People political party won a landslide victory garnering 73.22% of the vote after 100% of ballots had been counted, while incumbent President Pyotr Poroshenko secured 24.45% of the vote.