Vladimir Zelensky takes office as President of Ukraine

Vladimir Zelensky takes office as President of Ukraine

Vladimir Zelensky took the oath as President of Ukraine at the Verkhovna Rada meeting today.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by four former Ukrainian Presidents and around 60 foreign guests, particularly, the Presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia and Hungary, Turkish Vice President, Moldavian Prime Minister, head of Azerbaijani government, Vice Prime Ministers of Belarus, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, a US delegation headed by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, as well as US Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker and others.

"I pledge to defend the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine with all my deeds, to take care of the welfare of the Fatherland and the welfare of the Ukrainian people, to defend the rights and freedoms of citizens, to observe the Constitution of Ukraine and the laws of Ukraine, to fulfill my duties in the interests of all compatriots, to raise the authority of Ukraine in the world", TASS cited the new President as saying.

After that, Zelensky was presented with symbols of power - a mace, a badge of the President of Ukraine and the official seal, and the head of the Central Electoral Commission Tatyana Slipachuk, presented Zelensky the identification of the head of state.

After the ceremony Zelensky announced the dissolution of the Verkhovna Rada and early parliamentary elections in the country.

"I dissolve the 8th Verkhovna Rada. There are good points for early parliamentary elections," he stressed.

Deputy director of the Institute of the CIS Vladimir Zharikhin, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that if the Verkhovna Rada is really disbanded, we should expect more constructive work from its next composition. "It’s not yet clear whether this decision will be appealed by the Verkhovna Rada. There are places in Ukrainian legislation that allow interpreting the situation both ways. If this happens, then we may expect the next composition of the Verkhovna Rada to be more constructive," he said.

"It's not necessarily that the Rada will change radically, but still the new president will be able to pursue a more constructive policy with the next composition. Poroshenko’s bloc will most likely stay in parliament, but will lose a position. Yatsenyuk’s People's Front will bite the dust. Most voters, judging by the polls, will support Zelensky’s party 'The Servant of the People' and the 'Opposition Bloc.' We cannot say that it will radically change the political situation, but at least it will become more constructive," Vladimir Zharikhin emphasized.

First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov, in turn, noted that the dissolution of the Rada is an expected and logical step of Zelensky. "Ukraine is a presidential-parliamentary republic, where the president can appoint no minister without coordination with the Rada. The Rada has a completely pro-Poroshenko composition now, apart from extremists, so the new president decided to put most of his supporters in the Rada as soon as possible. By the way, Poroshenko did the same, when he came to power after a coup d’état," the senator recalled.

At the same time, a change in the Rada's composition does not mean a change in the state’s foreign policy. "In Ukraine, all processes have gone so far that one decision cannot change everything. It will be a long, painful process of rethinking relations and gradual alignment. The Ukrainian authorities have caused enough trouble to our relations, too many things have happened," Vladimir Dzhabarov added.

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