(Newsweek) Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov responded Monday to the outcome of Ukraine’s election, which saw comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelensky beat incumbent Petro Poroshenko to become the former Soviet Union nation’s president.
“Moscow respects the choice of Ukrainian people,” Peskov said, asserting that “this choice” of electing Zelensky “is rather obvious,” according to Russia’s Tass news agency. The Kremlin spokesperson said that “it will only be possible to judge [Zelensky] by his actions. […]
Brian Taylor, a professor of political science at Syracuse University and an expert on Russia, told Newsweek that he believes the situation between the two countries will not change significantly with Zelensky’s election. “First of all, he hasn’t articulated a clear road map for his plans as president with respect to the conflict,” Taylor explained.
“This conflict has been frozen for the last four years, and it seems unlikely that they’re going to come up with a new format that will resolve the issue once and for all,” he said. Taylor also explained that Russia does not have the “motivation to radically change their policy at the moment.” While Moscow aims to keep the Eastern European nation within its orbit, it doesn’t seem to have a “clear policy” to achieve that goal.
“I think that Russia will probably wait and see for a while to see what Zelensky does,” he said.
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