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Ukraine-based business expert says even new president unsure of his direction

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By John Paul Ging
Ukraine-based business expert says even new president unsure of his direction

A Ukraine-based business expert says he's not convinced that even Vlodymyr Zelenskiy knows what his policies as Ukrainian president will be.

Zelenskiy, a political novice, swept to an overwhelming victory over incumbent president Petro Poroshenko.

The results is being interpreted as an emphatic rejection of the political establishment.

Kyiv-based Peter Dickinson from Business Ukraine Magazine says nobody knows at this stage what Zelelnskiy will do:

"I would suggest that even Zelenskiy at this stage perhaps doesn't know. His campaign has been very vague from day one, with a very broad pro change platform: anti-establishment, anti-old guard but the nuts and bolts of his programme are still to be determined.

"He has taken a reformer stance very quickly within the first days of his presidency – they voted against the old regime, so he’s now under huge pressure to come up trumps and he now has major billing as the new face of Ukraine.

"Corruption in Ukraine is on a large scale. It is very much institutionalised, so he needs to tackle the corrupt patterns and formations deeply ingrained in the operations of the state."

The European Union has responded to Zelenskiy's victory with a joint letter from Donald Tusk, President of the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission. It also emphasises the ongoing development of ties between Ukraine and thew EU.

The letter says: "On behalf of the European Union, we would like to congratulate you on your election as President of Ukraine.

"Allow us to express our appreciation for the strong attachment to democracy and the rule of law that the people of Ukraine have demonstrated throughout the electoral process. This is a major achievement in the complex political, economic and security environment, against the backdrop of continuous challenges to Ukraine's territorial integrity.

"As President of Ukraine, you can count on the EU's strong support to Ukraine's reform path, including consolidating the rule of law, fighting corruption, maintaining macro-financial stability and pursuing the essential reform of the energy sector. We strongly believe the further implementation by the EU and Ukraine of the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, can be a crucial instrument in this respect. You can also count on the EU's continued and steadfast support of Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity."

Journalist • John Paul Ging

Video editor • John Paul Ging