President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko invited candidate at the presidential elections Volodymyr Zelensky to debate at the Olimpiyskyi stadium on April 14.
"Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky offered the stadium. I personally believe that the stadium is definitely not the best place for this discussion. But I emphasized: so be it. If he chose and refuses to hold a debate anywhere else, I would like to emphasize - on April 14, next Sunday, at the Olimpiyskyi stadium, exactly where Mr. Zelensky offered, I am waiting for him to hold a debate," the Head of State said during the interview to Ukraine TV channel.
"I think that 19:00 or 20:00 will be the best time. And I invite the audience, as Mr. Volodymyr Zelensky wanted. I invite all the channels for the debate to be held as Volodymyr Zelensky wanted in order not to let him retreat from his suggestion. It would be irresponsible in relation to the country, irresponsible in relation to the voters," he added.
Answering the question that voters should be able to assess the quality of the discussion, the submission of information, and even singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk urged - not the form, but the content of the debate, the Head of State remarked: "Svyatoslav Vakarchuk is absolutely right: the debate is not a show, not a competition. The debate is an absolutely meaningful and serious discussion about the future of our state and every individual citizen".
"It is very important that under these conditions we should not sell a "pig in a poke", because for today, a thorough and meaningful discussion is crucial for the future of the state. The loser is not the one who took the second place, but in case of the wrong choice, when people made a mistake, not knowing the content - the country loses. It will be deprived of the future," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
The President stresses that Ukraine is now at the crossroads and there is a choice: either the country will continue its course to the European Union, where there is a rule of law, democracy, secured rights and freedoms, including free expression of will of the citizens, and NATO, where security and defense of the state will be provided, or it will be turned back and either crawl, or be pulled back to Russia.
"It's not about the declarations made by the candidates. It is about whether the President is strong enough to confront the challenges that the aggressor country poses. To confront and defend the state as President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief. Because Putin wants a weak President to ensure the revenge. I firmly believe that Ukraine will not allow this," Petro Poroshenko said.
The President stressed that the discussion on the form should be stopped: "Nobody is interested in that anymore. There has to be a transition to a substantive discussion. And this can only be done at the debate".