Kremlin hopes ‘party of war’ won’t win in Ukraine

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

Ukraine's leadership.

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

and Poroshenko.

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)