President of Ukraine

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: The United States and the EU should share the risks of possible elections in Ukraine during the war

27 August 2023 - 19:58

Volodymyr Zelenskyy: The United States and the EU should share the risks of possible elections in Ukraine during the war

Elections in Ukraine under martial law are possible only if the right to vote is ensured for all citizens, including military personnel and forced migrants abroad; funding and the presence of foreign observers at polling stations on the frontline must also be ensured. This was stated by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an interview with journalist Natalia Moseychuk.

"We need every vote. We won't be able to say for ourselves that this was a very democratic election. We need a legitimate choice. We need this choice to be made by society. So that it does not divide our people. We need the military to be able to vote. They are defending this democracy today, and not giving them this opportunity because of the war is unfair. I was against the elections only because of this issue," the Head of State said, commenting on the possibility of organizing and holding elections under martial law.

The President also noted that the second aspect of the possible holding of elections during the war is the issue of the lack of funding. Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he had discussed this topic with American Republican politician Lindsey Graham.

"I told him: if the United States and Europe give us financial support... I'm sorry, I will not hold elections on credit, I will not take money from weapons and give it to elections either. But if you give me this financial support, if the parliamentarians realize that we need to do this, then let's quickly change the legislation and, most importantly, let's take risks together," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

The Head of State also paid special attention to the organization of the work of polling stations and the presence of observers, including foreign ones.

"Observers should be in the trenches. I told him: observers must be sent to the frontline so that the elections are legitimate for us and for the whole world. And this is absolutely fair," Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

He reminded that a significant number of Ukrainians are now abroad, particularly in the EU, and that ensuring their expression of will also requires significant resources and polling stations, which Ukraine does not have in such numbers.

"We need help from Europe here, because Ukrainians today are mostly in the European Union. Polling stations must be opened there so that people can come. 7 million people have to vote. We do not have such infrastructural capacities - we need to provide appropriate opportunities there," the President said.

The Head of State emphasizes that he is not holding on to power and would like to hold elections. However, the rights of all voters must be ensured.

"How will the military be able to vote? Show me the infrastructure. No one has shown it yet. How will people abroad be able to vote? No one has shown me. There is a way out. I am ready for it. I am talking about this publicly now, I told him. I have no secrets," the President added.