Business news from Ukraine

Peter Pellegrini: Russia-friendly populist elected president of Slovakia

Populist Peter Pellegrini has been elected president of Slovakia, replacing liberal Zuzana Kaputova.

Pellegrini, 48, defeated pro-Western Ivan Korc, a former diplomat, with 53% of the vote.

A former prime minister, he is an ally of Prime Minister Robert Fico and shares his dovish attitude toward Russia.

Mr. Fico and his allies now control Slovakia’s parliament, government, and soon the presidency.

Slovakia was one of Ukraine’s most staunch allies before Mr. Fico came to power in October, promising to stop supplying military supplies to the Slovak army in Kyiv. With Mr. Pellegrini’s election to replace Ms. Kaputova, Ukraine finally lost its voice of support in the EU and NATO capitals.

Mr. Fico called for an end to Western military support for Ukraine, an immediate ceasefire and peace talks with Moscow. He said that President Vladimir Putin had recently been “unfairly demonized” and claimed that Ukraine’s acceptance into NATO would mean the start of World War III.

Mr. Pellegrini’s campaign has echoed this Moscow-friendly rhetoric, accusing Mr. Korcok of being a warmonger who would send Slovak soldiers to fight in Ukraine, a constitutional power the president does not have.

On Sunday, Mr. Pellegrini promised to “ensure that Slovakia remains on the side of peace, not on the side of war.”

“You don’t have to worry that the presidential palace, as it has been for the last 10 years, will become the center of an opposition, opportunistic power that will harm the government, that will harm the state abroad and that will rejoice in the failures of the Slovak government,” he said.

After Ms. Kaputova resigns in June, Slovakia, a country that only a year ago handed over its entire fleet of MiG-29 aircraft to Ukraine, will no longer have a single high-ranking official who unequivocally supports Kyiv’s efforts to defend its territory by force.

Mr. Korchok expressed his outrage at Pellegrini’s campaign tactics, saying that it was fear that decided the outcome of the election, and “this fear was spread by those who hide in public office.”

He said of the result: “It turns out that it is possible to become president of the Slovak Republic not only by spreading hatred, stirring up passions and pushing people to the barricades, but also by portraying the opposite number, that is, me, as a war candidate. I will not forget this.”

The liberal, pro-Western opposition also accuses Mr. Pellegrini – as head of the coalition Voice party and speaker of parliament – of remaining silent as Mr. Fico destroyed Slovakia’s criminal justice system, in particular by abolishing the Special Prosecutor’s Office, which was created 20 years ago to investigate serious corruption and economic crimes.

It had investigated a number of high-ranking officials from Mr. Fico’s Smer party and overseen the prosecution of those believed to be responsible for the 2018 murders of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kusnirova.

The murders were a seismic event in Slovak politics. The aftermath ended Mr. Fico’s second term as prime minister in 2018 and led to the election of the liberal, pro-Western Zuzana Kaputova as president, riding a wave of popular anger against official corruption and organized crime.

Robert Fico’s government recently targeted Slovakia’s public broadcaster, submitting plans to eliminate it and replace it with virtual state control. These plans were shelved after Peter Pellegrini’s unexpectedly poor result in the first round of the presidential election two weeks ago.

The opposition fears that a renewed Robert Fico will resubmit them – and they say that President-elect Pellegrini is unlikely to stand in his way.

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South Korea’s incumbent president’s party leads in polls ahead of election

The ruling party of South Korean President Yun Seok-yol “People’s Power” is leading in popularity according to the results of a public poll ahead of the parliamentary elections scheduled for April, Western media reported citing data from a survey by the Gallup Korea organization.

Thus, according to the survey, about 37% of voters are ready to support the “People’s Power”, while 29% intend to vote for the main opposition Democratic Party. The third most popular among South Koreans is the Korea Innovation Party – it has 12%. This is a new party, it was created by politician Cho Guk, who served as Minister of Justice under President Moon Jae-in.

The poll was conducted by Gallup Korea organization among more than 1 thousand people.

Parliamentary elections in the country are scheduled for April 10.

Earlier, the Experts Club analytical center and Maxim Urakin presented an analytical material on the most important elections in the countries of the world in 2024, more detailed video analysis is available here –

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has indicated 12.4 million UAH of income in his declaration for 2023

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky released the declaration of the person authorized to perform the functions of the state or local government on property, income, expenses and financial obligations for 2023.

According to the President’s website, “according to the declaration, the income of the head of state and members of his family amounted to 12 million 423 thousand 008 UAH, including income from the sale of government bonds – 7 million 455 thousand 972 UAH”.

The income of Vladimir Zelensky’s family in 2023 mainly consisted of wages, bank interest and income from the provision of real estate for rent. In total, this amount amounted to UAH 4 million 967 thousand 036.

“The increase in income compared to last year was due to the resumption of rent payments. The cash balance of the head of state’s family by the end of last year decreased by almost 2 million 800 thousand UAH. There were no other significant changes in 2023 in terms of assets, real estate, vehicles, etc.,” – reports the website of the President.

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Indonesia has elected a new president

Indonesia has completed the counting of votes in the presidential election, which resulted in the election of Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto as the new head of state, The Jakarta Post reported on Wednesday, citing data from the election commission.

Subianto has 58.6 percent of the vote – enough for the candidate to be declared the winner of the election without a runoff. His rivals, former Jakarta governor Anis Baswedan, have 24.9% and Ganjar Pranowo has 16.5%.

General elections in Indonesia were held back on February 14. The counting of votes and publication of results in the country takes up to 35 days.

According to the Indonesian constitution, the presidency is limited to two terms.
Earlier the analytical center Experts Club included the elections in Indonesia in the list of the top 10 most significant for the world, more video about it is available at the link –

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Ukrainian President came on visit to Istanbul

Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Istanbul to meet with Turkish head of state Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The airplane with the Ukrainian leader and his accompanying delegation on board landed at Ataturk Airport, Turkish media reported.

As part of the visit of the Ukrainian delegation, Zelensky will meet with President Erdogan. A joint statement of the two leaders is expected to be signed following the talks.

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President of Ukraine met with new President of Argentina

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy met in Buenos Aires with the newly elected President of Argentina Javier Millais. “I met with Javier Millais and congratulated him on his official inauguration as President of Argentina,” he wrote on his Telegram channel on Sunday evening.

“Today in the squares and streets of Buenos Aires, the word “freedom” – libertad – was heard very often. And this unites us – Ukraine and Argentina. We really value freedom, we really defend it, and we are really ready to strengthen freedom together,” Zelenskyy emphasized during his meeting with Javier Millais.