2019.04.23 09:06

Lithuanian president congratulates Zelensky on winning Ukraine's presidency

BNS, 2019.04.23 09:06

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė has congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his election as Ukraine's president.

“The president believes that great trust expressed by the Ukrainian people was a substantial commitment to responsibly enhance welfare of the country and its people as well as consolidate the country by uniting its people in the strive for peace, security and independence of Ukraine,” her office said in a press release on Monday.

“Ukraine and its people had to deal with a number of challenges over the recent years, but they still demonstrated great determination, dedication, and spiritual strength in defending their country and its freedom as well as aspiring for a strong and pro-European country,” it said.

Grybauskaitė said that Lithuania and its citizens “would always be reliable allies of Ukrainians and support continued development of comprehensive relations between Ukraine and Europe, and the trans-Atlantic community”.

She wished Ukraine's president-elect “continued success and wisdom in performing the important duties of the position and working for the benefit of the Ukrainian people as well as fortitude, unity, peace, and prosperity to all the people of Ukraine”.

Volodymyr Zelensky beat the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, in Sunday's run-off election with 73 percent of the vote.

Desire for change

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told LRT Radio on Sunday night that the results represented the Ukrainian people's desire for change.

“It's something we've noted before, that there must be some fatigue from bureaucracy, from corruption,” Linkevičius said. “People wanted change.”

However, he added, the change that Ukrainians wanted were not so radical as to change the country's European course.

“I really don't think that Ukraine's general course will change. Too much works has been put into it, too much blood spilt, for there to be a radical change.”

Lithuania's foreign minister said he had not spoken to Zelensky personally, but expected to meet the president-elect during his visit in Kyiv this week.