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Fri Apr 19, 2019, 02:19 PM

Putin ally to Ukraine's probable new leader: Reconcile with Moscow and get territory back

Source: Reuters

WORLD NEWS APRIL 18, 2019 / 2:14 PM / UPDATED AN HOUR AGO

Putin ally to Ukraine's probable new leader: Reconcile with Moscow and get territory back

Andrew Osborn
7 MIN READ

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine’s new president could regain control over the separatist-controlled east of his country within months and get cheap gas and major investment from Russia if he repairs ties with Moscow, the Kremlin’s closest ally in Ukraine said.

Viktor Medvedchuk, a prominent figure in Ukraine’s Russia-leaning opposition, outlined the prospect in an interview before a presidential election runoff in Ukraine on Sunday which polls show political novice Volodymyr Zelenskiy should easily win.

He said the Kremlin was keen to know more about Zelenskiy, a 41-year-old Russian-speaking TV comedian who has no political experience, to understand if he is someone it could do a deal with, something it failed to do with incumbent Petro Poroshenko who polls show will be soundly defeated by Zelenskiy.

“They don’t have any expectations in Moscow,” he said. “They want to see what happens afterwards, who will be in his (Zelenskiy’s) entourage, and what he will do and with whom.”

A Ukrainian citizen, Medvedchuk does not represent Russia, but his words carry weight due to his close friendship with President Vladimir Putin and track record as a go-between between the two nations.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-election-russia/putin-ally-to-ukraines-probable-new-leader-reconcile-with-moscow-and-get-territory-back-idUSKCN1RU287

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