During the speech at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) meeting in Kyiv, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that he knows whom the Russian Federation wants to see in the second round of Ukraine’s presidential elections.
“In 4 years we have restored not only the army but also the intelligence. We have an accurate picture of the Kremlin's plans. We know whom they want to see in the second round, and thank God, my name is not there, “said Poroshenko.
He added that Ukraine's future "in a significant, if not decisive degree depends on the electoral cycle of 2019-2020", and that "the war will definitely leave its mark on the nature of the campaign."
"There are figures on the Ukrainian political chessboard that allow Moscow to use them. It is known (in the plans of the Kremlin) that on the base of the fifth column, they dream of forming a powerful pro-Russian opposition in the new parliament. If they are lucky, then make it a group with the right of veto for European and Euro-Atlantic integration. The horizon of their planning reaches the autumn of 2020 to create loyal to Moscow political majority on the ground [in Ukraine], “said Poroshenko.
He added that this is "a threat of retaliation and the return of Ukraine to the imperial stall."
"This threat does not need to be exaggerated, but it should not be underestimated. Russian interference in the electoral processes is not an exclusively Ukraine’s problem like it was about 20 years ago, "said the head of state.
According to him, the Kremlin's attack against democracy and freedom has become a world’s hybrid war.
"It is good that we are now coordinating our efforts with our Western partners to develop reliable mechanisms for anticipating external interference in the elections. The best way to protect the entire free world is to protect Ukraine, “said Poroshenko.
Poroshenko also promised that elections in Ukraine would be free and fair.
"As a president, I firmly guarantee free, fair and democratic elections of the head of state and the new parliament, and local self-government bodies. We will defend the free will of citizens, “summed up Poroshenko.