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Germany still views Zelensky as Ukraine's president — MFA

Annalena Baerbock stressed that according to the constitution not only of Ukraine, but also of other countries, elections could not be held during martial law

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. Germany will continue to recognize Vladimir Zelensky as the Ukrainian president despite the expiration of his term in office and expects elections to be held when martial law is lifted, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said at a news conference with her Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba during her visit to Kiev.

"Vladimir Zelensky is the legitimate president of Ukraine. We will figure this thing out together. We will support the reform processes that are taking place in Ukraine. According to the constitution not only of Ukraine, but also of other countries, elections cannot be held during martial law. For example, it is cited in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany that the cadence lasts during martial law and that it is only possible to hold elections six months after the end of the war," she said. The press conference was broadcast on the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's Facebook page (banned in Russia, owned by the Meta corporation, recognized as extremist in Russia).

Ukraine is now discussing the issue of the legitimacy of the authorities in the absence of parliamentary and presidential elections. Verkhovna Rada MP Alexander Dubinsky said that Zelensky's powers expired on the night of 21 May according to the constitution, and there was no legitimate way to extend them. The country's former ambassador to the UK, Vadim Pristayko, admitted that Kiev's Western partners were also concerned about the end of Zelensky's presidential term. Zelensky himself said that he believes that his term as head of state has not yet expired.

Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that the issue of Zelensky's legitimacy should be resolved in Ukraine by its political and legal systems. Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with TASS that Zelensky was violating his country's laws in an attempt to hold on to power after his term expired. A spokesman for UN chief Stephane Dujarric said that in the eyes of the organization, Zelensky is still head of state.