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How is Russia reacting to Zelenskiy's election win in Ukraine?

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How is Russia reacting to Zelenskiy's election win in Ukraine?
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REUTERS
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Russia's prime minister says there is a chance for improved relations with Ukraine after a comedian with no political experience was elected president in a landslide victory.

Other Russian politicians said the election of Volodymyr Zelenskiy shows Ukrainians have rejected incumbent Petro Poroshenko's anti-Russian stance.

A Kremlin spokesperson said it was too early to speak about possible cooperation with Ukrainian Zelenskiy, but added that Moscow respected the choice of the Ukrainian people.

Euronews correspondent Galina Polonskaya reports that Russian state media wanted to present the elections as a "total mess" with the clear favourite candidate being an actor.

Polonskaya added the head of the international committee of Russia's lower house of parliament told her there are hopes in Russia something constructive could come out of the election.

Russian president Vladimir Putin has not yet made an official statement, but Dmitry Medvedev the prime minister said the result shows voters are "eager for new approaches".

There is still a chance for Ukraine to improve its relations with Russia. What will it take? Honesty, as well as a pragmatic and responsible approach with due account for all the current political realities in Ukraine, primarily in the east of the country. Therefore, the main thing we can wish the new Ukrainian leadership is common sense, as well as to understand the inherent value of relations between the peoples of our countries that transcend all momentary political considerations.

This is the only way of reviving economic cooperation that has practically ceased, which would pave the way to resolving extremely challenging social problems millions of Ukrainians are facing today.
Dmitry Medvedev
Russian prime minister

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Ukraine had a chance to "reset".

One of the main issues facing Ukraine is the conflict in the east of the country against Russian-backed rebels - a conflict which has taken the lives of more than 13,000 people.

Zelenskiy vowed to resolve the conflict, but so far there are no real details as to how he will try to achieve this.

Polonskaya says the Kremlin may be hoping his political inexperience will lead to mistakes, however there could also be fears that Russians could follow Ukraine's example in voting for a political outsider in the next presidential election.

Read more: Ukraine enters the unknown as comedian Zelenskiy wins election by a landslide