10 Apr 2019 17:49

Poroshenko to appear at Olimpiysky Stadium in Kyiv for debates with Zelensky on April 14 - campaign staff

KYIV. April 10 (Interfax) - Debates between the Ukrainian presidential candidates at the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex will begin at 2:00 p.m. on April 14, President Petro Poroshenko's campaign staff said.

"Poroshenko [...] will appear at the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex at 2:00 p.m. on April 14 for debates with [presidential candidate] Volodymyr Zelensky, and I repeat my invitation to Zelensky once again not to fear or evade debates, to display courage and political will and appear a week before the elections," spokesperson for Poroshenko's campaign staff Oleh Medvedev said at a news briefing in Kyiv on Wednesday.

Poroshenko continues to insist on the necessity for holding debates, including on the Public Television channel, he said.

"Poroshenko believes debates must be obligatory, and there should be several rounds of such debates, and they should address important matters concerning the president's constitutional powers," he said.

Ukrainian law stipulates that debates shall be held on the state television channel on the last Friday before the second round of presidential elections, he said.

"We know for sure what's on Poroshenko's schedule at 8:00 p.m. on April 19: he is to come to the state television channel at that time. He will certainly be there," Medvedev said.

Poroshenko also stands ready to appear for debates at the stadium on some other day, possibly on April 19, too, as Zelensky has proposed, as long as such debates at the stadium are not scheduled for the same time as debates on the state television channel, Medvedev said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Olimpiysky National Sports Complex said it had received requests from Poroshenko about holding debates on April 14 and 19, 2019 and from Zelensky on April 19, 2019.