Ukraine’s new leader refers to Turkey on Crimea

Ukraine’s new leader refers to Turkey on Crimea

Nerdun Hacıoğlu MOSCOW
Ukraine’s new leader refers to Turkey on Crimea

Petro Poroshenko gives a press conference in Kiev after exit polls were announced on May 25, 2014. AFP Photo

Petro Poroshenko, the overwhelming victor in Ukraine’s presidential elections, has stressed Kyiv is on the same page with Turkey in Crimea as he explained the main pillars of his program.

With votes from 50 percent of precincts counted early May 26, billionaire “chocolate king” Poroshenko was leading with about 54 percent in the field of 21 candidates. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was running a distant second with 13 percent. Both results were in line with the exit polls, which showed Poroshenko with nearly 56 percent and Tymoshenko with 13 percent.

Poroshenko took to the stage at a post-election press conference in a trendy Kyiv art gallery where he declared himself the winner only minutes after the exit polls had been released on May 25.

Ukraine’s new leader said he considers all votes for him as “votes for the European path,” before counting three issues his administration “will never make concessions to.”

“First, our country will not become a federation. Second, Ukraine will never recognize the referendum results in Crimea. We are totally on the same page with our neighbor Turkey, which does not recognize the referendum in Crimea and the Russian presence there,” Poroshenko said. Third, he declared that his administration’s foreign policy “will be determined by the people of Ukraine,” and not by any other party.

Turkey’s parliamentary speaker Cemil Çiçek had said on May 10 that Ankara backs Ukraine’s unity. “We care deeply about the safety and welfare of Crimean Tatars, who have experienced great pain throughout history. Therefore, we believe Turkey’s dialogue with Russia is also significant,” he added.