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01 March 2019, 13:44

Lukashenko predicts Poroshenko's victory in presidential election in Ukraine

Alexander Lukashenko
Alexander Lukashenko

MINSK, 1 March (BelTA) – The incumbent president Petro Poroshenko will win the presidential election in Ukraine, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with community leaders, experts, Belarusian and foreign media on 1 March, BelTA has learned.

“Poroshenko will be the president. He will advance to the second round. Maybe Zelensky will too. Or maybe someone else. Those who voted for Zelensky in the first round will probably vote for him in the second. Those who voted for some other candidates will vote for Poroshenko in the second round. I am not absolutely sure. But I think, looking at all the options, Petro Poroshenko will keep the post,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The Belarusian president admitted that he did not delve deep into the Ukrainian election topic but that he always feels concern for what is happening in the neighboring country. “I do not want Ukraine to be used as a bargaining chip, as a battleground between major powers. Ukrainians do not deserve this,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

He emphasized he has a warm regard and respect for Ukrainians. “I did my army service there. I visited Ukraine, including its western part, many times. I do not think that zapadentsy [inhabitants of western Ukraine] are some kind of bad people. I do not have such an opinion. They are good, hardworking people. We need to learn how to work from them,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

The head of state added that any alarming events in Ukraine have a noticeable effect on Belarus. “According to the migration services, we accommodated more than 150,000 Ukrainians when the crisis started. They were provided with equal rights with Belarusians. Some people returned home when it became a bit calmer there. Many Ukrainians found jobs here and are still working here. Some have already bought housing here. We helped them as much as we could. Any situation in Ukraine worries us and me personally, a lot,” Alexander Lukashenko said.

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