MOSCOW, The Kremlin said Monday it hoped
Ukrainian presidential polls would not bring to power a party of war, while
declining to comment on the firstround lead taken by actor Volodymyr
Zelensky has said that if elected, he would demand Russia end its
occupation of territory in eastern Ukraine and pay compensation � a prospect
widely seen as unrealistic.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told
journalists Moscow is closely following candidates' statements on the
Kiev and Western powers accuse Russia of giving military support to
separatists in the east.
Of course we would like to see not a party of war in control in Ukraine
but a party that is aimed at real, stepbystep resolution of the situation
in southeastern Ukraine, Peskov said.
Asked to comment on Zelensky's stance on the Russian occupation, Peskov
said Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, is not up for discussion.
He said the conflict is a consequence of the policies carried out by
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was elected in 2014 on a promise to
end the fighting in eastern Ukraine.
Under Poroshenko, Kiev has sought closer ties with the West as the war
rumbles on, with a death toll now estimated at around 13,000.
Putin's spokesman said it would be premature to comment on the
significant lead taken by comedian Zelensky in the first round of voting on
Sunday. It will be followed by a runoff vote on April 21 between Zelensky
Partial results published on Monday morning showed Zelensky taking 30
percent in Sunday's first round, well ahead of Poroshenko on roughly 17
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)