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Moscow clarifies Zelensky’s status

He is now “the ringleader of the Kiev regime,” the Russian Foreign Ministry has said

Vladimir Zelensky is “the ringleader of the Kiev regime, whose legitimacy is disputed in Ukraine,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated on Thursday.

Zakharova gave the characterization when a journalist at a media briefing asked for clarification on Zelensky’s status in the eyes of the Russian government.

Although Zelensky’s five-year term in office expired last week, he claims that he has the right to continue exercising presidential authority due to the ongoing martial law in the country. The martial law has been cited as the reason a new presidential election has not been held.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Zelensky’s claim does not seem to be grounded in Ukrainian law.

The Ukrainian constitution forbids parliamentary election during a period of emergency and explicitly states that elected MPs should retain their powers until a new parliament can be chosen by the Ukrainian people. However, the constitution does not spell out any rules for cancelling presidential elections, although a lower-level law does ban presidential elections during emergencies.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting of the Council of Regions of Uzbekistan and Russia in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Zelensky no longer legitimate leader of Ukraine – Putin

Putin reasoned that since Ukraine’s political system emphasizes the role of the parliament and the constitution does not state that a president’s term should be prolonged under extraordinary circumstances, the highest executive authority should now go to the speaker, as determined by law.

However, Ukraine’s speaker, Ruslan Stefanchuk, declared last week that anyone who questions Zelensky’s legitimacy is an “enemy of Ukraine.”

The Russian leader said that it was up to the Ukrainians to sort the issue out. But Moscow has a vested interest, Putin explained, since Zelensky’s questionable status would affect any international agreements he may sign, including a hypothetical peace treaty with Russia.

May 30, 2024 at 07:30PM

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