Poroshenko offers to debate Zelensky at Olimpiyskiy Stadium on 14 April

Ukraine’s incumbent president and candidate for reelection Petro Poroshenko has agreed to debate his rival Volodymyr Zelensky on 14 April, 112 Ukraine reports.

“On 14 April, next Sunday, I will be at the Republican (Olimpiyskiy) Stadium, precisely where Mr Zelensky proposed, I will be waiting for him to debate. I think that 19:00 or 20:00 would be the optimal time. I also invite spectators and all channels, so that the debates do take place, as Volodymyr wanted it, in order to prevent him from backing down from this suggestion,” Poroshenko said publicly.

Initially the two candidates had planned to debate on 19 April, but on 6 April it was learned that the chosen venue, the Olimpiyskiy Stadium, was already reserved for a book-related event.

On 3 April, after leading in the first round of elections, the actor and candidate Volodymyr Zelensky challenged Poroshenko to a public debate. He also insisted on certain terms for the debate: it must be held at Ukraine’s largest sporting arena, broadcast live, and Poroshenko must publicly admit that he is debating “not with a puppet of the Kremlin or of Kolomoyskiy, nor with a ‘vatnik’ (an ethnic Russian), nor with a Maloross (a citizen of “Little Russia”), nor with a plebeian, nor with a clown”, but with a “presidential candidate”. Poroshenko has apparently chosen not to comply with this final condition.

Zelensky also insisted that both he and Poroshenko take blood tests to prove that they are not alcoholics or drug addicts. Poroshenko agreed to this, and so the two candidates gave blood and urine samples on 5 April. According to the preliminary test results, no traces of narcotics were found in any of the samples.

  Ukraine, Poroshenko, Zelensky