German Chancellor Angela Merkel has congratulated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on his inauguration, German Cabinet official Martina Fitz said.
“The chancellor congratulates Mr. Zelensky on his inauguration. He is taking office in accordance with a democratic mandate,” Fitz told reporters in Berlin on Monday in response to a question from Interfax.
Relations between Germany and Ukraine “remain close” and Germany will continue providing support to Ukraine in its development and reforms, she said.
Fitz was unable to name a date for the upcoming meeting between Merkel and Zelensky, however. The meeting will take place “soon,” she said. “I can’t give an exact date as of yet,” she said.
The team of President-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky intends to conduct a “state audit” in the first 100 days in order to understand the state’s position, an ideologist of the Zelensky team, Ruslan Stefanchuk, notes.
“In order to perform any transformations, we need to know the human resource, financial resource and time resource. It is recorded in our program, and we will deal with it in the first 100 days: this is the announcement of the state audit. We need to understand the situation in the state today,” he said on the 112.Ukraine TV channel on Friday evening.
According to the ideologist of the team, the Ukrainian institutions, which are charged with the relevant duties, and international structures will be involved in such an audit. “It is clear that we can attract international institutions not in all areas, because it is connected with state secrets, with other things,” he said.
Stefanchuk stressed that it is important to understand the state of Ukraine’s financial obligations, the state of the infrastructure, and the state of the country’s international obligations.
“We need to know how many people there are in Ukraine today, since the number of deputies in the Verkhovna Rada depends on it. There are European norms, and they are far from being appropriate. We need to understand what social programs should be implemented. It’s not normal when today we do not know the amount of people in the country and their legal statuses,” he explained.
Volodymyr Zelensky has won the runoff presidential election in Ukraine with 73.22% of the vote and has been elected president, the Ukrainian Central Elections Commission (CEC) said in a statement on Tuesday. CEC Chairperson Tetiana Slipachuk read out the final ballot protocol at the Tuesday ceremony where the official election results were announced, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent said in a report.
According to the CEC, the fifth Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko got 24.45% of the vote in the April 21 election.
CEC members reported the results of voting from all regions of Ukraine and foreign countries at the meeting.
According to Slipachuk, the CEC was informed by appeal courts that they had had no complaints regarding the runoff election left as of 9 a.m. on April 30.
The final protocol was approved and signed by all CEC members but Iryna Yefremova, who is absent for good reason, Slipachuk said. Following this, the protocol was signed by representatives of both presidential candidates.
The runoff presidential election in Ukraine took place on April 21. The voter turnout stood at 61.37%, including in the foreign electoral district. As many as 18,491,840 out of 29,645,358 eligible voters cast ballots.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he does not rule out the possibility of a meeting and talks with Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky.
“If we meet someday, begin some talks, and I’m not ruling this out, then we must talk how to end the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in the first place,” Putin said at press conference following his visit to China.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Zelensky has already made a statement before the election that he, firstly, is not going to sign a decree on a bill on amnesty and, secondly, [is not going] to grant special status to those territories [certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine],” Putin said.
“Both are the key elements of the content of the Minsk Agreements and how can the issue of the LPR and the DPR be resolved without implementing the Minsk Agreements?” the Russian president said.
“I would gladly ask him these question, discuss these matters with him,” Putin said.
Mentioning that the majority of Ukrainian citizens voted for Zelensky, the Russian president expressed the opinion that “first and foremost, the people expect the future Ukrainian political leadership to resolve these issues.”
“Everyone is fed up with this conflict, everyone is tired of it, and everyone expects this from the new political leadership, including the future president,” Putin said.
“But if from the very threshold, from the start the future president says he is not going to implement the Minsk Agreements, how will he resolve this issue then? I would be glad to discuss that with him, I would like to understand his stance,” the Russian president said.
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky has gone to Turkey for a brief vacation.
“We have agreed to be open. So, we’re flying to Turkey. I’m taking the kids to the yearly festival Veselo,” Zelensky wrote on his Facebook page.
Zelensky said that it would be his first day off for the past four months, and said he would be returning to Ukraine in a couple of days.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, who arrived in Kyiv on a visit, met with President-elect of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky. “Held very good meeting with Ukraine’s President-elect V. Zelensky in Kyiv: congratulated on his land sliding victory in Presidential elections, reaffirmed Lithuania’s continuous steadfast support to Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, reforms, European & Euro-Atlantic integration,” he wrote on Twitter. He also published a joint photo with Zelensky in the social network.
As reported, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Linas Linkevicius is on a working visit to Ukraine on April 25-26. The purpose of his visit to Kyiv is to deepen bilateral cooperation in the framework of the Ukrainian-Lithuanian strategic partnership.