21 Mar 2019 12:21

Poroshenko outsider in Ukraine's presidential race - Volodin

MOSCOW. March 21 (Interfax) - Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has said he believes that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is trying to score points in the election campaign by making populist statements.

"A great deal depends on the logic of the election campaign, where one of the participants, President of Ukraine Poroshenko, is an outsider," Volodin told reporters on Thursday when asked to comment on Kyiv's introduction of new sanctions against Russian citizens, including Volodin.

Poroshenko's remarks that Ukraine "will get Crimea back", other similar pledges, as well as "provocations in the Kerch Strait" are aimed at helping Poroshenko stay in power, Volodin said.

"It is highly likely that this hysteria will be whipped up further, because it is completely obvious that he won't be able to win honestly," he said.

"Trust in such elections has already dropped to zero," Volodin said.

When asked whether Moscow will respond to these new Ukrainian sanctions, he said, "you can't respond to foolishness and stupidity like for like."

Moscow's attitude to the Ukrainian people and Moscow's attitude to President Poroshenko are two different things, Volodin said.

"We need to see the difference between the people of Ukraine and those who came to power in Kyiv as the result of a coup," he said.

Ukraine is due to hold its presidential election on March 31.