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Russian officials welcome the comedian's victory in Ukraine

Russian leaders on Monday welcomed the election of Volodymyr Zelensky, the comedian who swept to victory in Ukraine's presidential election on Sunday, as thoughts turned to what the new president will mean for the region's five-year conflict that is still a major flash point between Moscow and the West countries.In Sunday's vote, Zelensky beat Ukraine's leading president, Petro Poroshenko, taking 73 percent of the bill with the bill almost completed on Monday night.Zelensky, who has no political experience and plays a man who inadvertently becomes president of a television show, lost a large reservoir of discontent among Ukrainians with his political establishment and promised to eradicate corruption and oversee the country's policies.On Monday, Russian officials expressed satisfaction in Poroshenko's defeat and some optimism about Zelensky. In a sign that Moscow hopes he will be easier to handle than Poroshenko, Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Zelensky on his victory and said he believed his election gave the chance for Ukraine and Russia to improve relations."Ukraine has voted, and the election results clearly show that voters are keen on new solutions to solve Ukraine's problems," Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page. "I have no doubt that Ukraine's new leaders will stick to the rhetoric against Russia he used during the campaign. At the same time, there is still a chance for Ukraine to improve its relations with Russia."Russian officials have not been able to hear about their desire for to see the back of Poroshenko, who built his presidency to block…

Russian leaders on Monday welcomed the election of Volodymyr Zelensky, the comedian who swept to victory in Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, as thoughts turned to what the new president will mean for the region’s five-year conflict that is still a major flash point between Moscow and the West countries.

In Sunday’s vote, Zelensky beat Ukraine’s leading president, Petro Poroshenko, taking 73 percent of the bill with the bill almost completed on Monday night.

Zelensky, who has no political experience and plays a man who inadvertently becomes president of a television show, lost a large reservoir of discontent among Ukrainians with his political establishment and promised to eradicate corruption and oversee the country’s policies.

On Monday, Russian officials expressed satisfaction in Poroshenko’s defeat and some optimism about Zelensky. In a sign that Moscow hopes he will be easier to handle than Poroshenko, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Zelensky on his victory and said he believed his election gave the chance for Ukraine and Russia to improve relations.

“Ukraine has voted, and the election results clearly show that voters are keen on new solutions to solve Ukraine’s problems,” Medvedev wrote on his Facebook page. “I have no doubt that Ukraine’s new leaders will stick to the rhetoric against Russia he used during the campaign. At the same time, there is still a chance for Ukraine to improve its relations with Russia.”

Russian officials have not been able to hear about their desire for to see the back of Poroshenko, who built his presidency to block Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s east and pursued a radical break with Moscow. Some experts believe that Russian hopes that Zelensky’s more moderate attitude and desire to put an end to the battles can allow the Kremlin to move to a new cooler phase in the conflict, helping to get out of Western sanctions.

Poroshenko, who quickly acknowledged on Sunday, warned that Russia will try to use Zelensky’s victory to begin pulling Ukraine back in its field of influence.

“You may just be looking at the celebrations in the Kremlin in connection with the election. They believe that with a new inexperienced Ukrainian president, Ukraine could quickly return to Russia’s orbit,” wrote Poroshenko on Twitter.

However, Zelensky has promised to keep Ukraine’s pro-European course and there are also signs Zelensky will not necessarily be easier to handle for the Kremlin. On Sunday, he promised to return to 24 Ukrainian sailors who were arrested near the Crimea in the last case an early priority of his administration. He also painted his victory as a lesson for a region dominated by autocrats, where elections offer no real competition.

I’m not an official president, but as a citizen of Ukraine I can tell all the countries of the post-Soviet Union: look at us, he said in his victory.

The Kremlin’s reaction to his victory was guarded, with Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, who told reporters Monday it was too early to congratulate him.

Zelensky’s victory is not victory for [the] Kremlin, “Dmitry Trenin, the well-known director of Carnegie Moscow’s center wrote on Twitter. But, Trenin wrote, there was a chance to lower the tensions.

Western leaders quickly congratulated Zelensky, with France’s Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump calling him on Sunday, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel called Zelensky on Monday and urged him to Berlin.

The problems with Zelensky at home are frightening and they are still open, as he suggested almost no detailed policies during his campaign. He largely avoids the media and refused interviews.

However, Zelensky has won support from many of the liberal reformers and civic activists emerging from Ukraine’s 2014 revolution. The group, which includes a former finance minister, Aivaras Abromavicius, has taken it upon himself to advise Zelensky in the hope of helping him build an administration.

Currently, Zelensky remains, despite years of publicity, an unknown quantity.

Prior to the election, some were looking at Zelensky’s show, “People’s Servant” (now on Netflix), hoping to get some clues about the candidate. Now in its third season, the show has already played out some scenarios that the new president will come across.

In a section, Merkel calls Zelensky’s character to inform him that the European Union has decided to make Ukraine a member. Zelensky is ecstatic until Merkel realizes she has made a mistake – she thought she was calling Montenegro.

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