Socialist Worker

Balancing act for Ukraine's new leader Petro Poroshenko

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2405

Petro Poroshenko

Petro Poroshenko (Pic: Bundesministerium für Europa on Flickr)

Petro Poroshenko, owner of Ukraine’s biggest chocolate company, is Ukraine's new president-elect.

However, large swathes of people in eastern Ukraine boycotted the election or were stopped from going to polling stations by gangs of armed men.

Poroshenko promised to negotiate an end to a pro-Russia insurgency in the east of the country, saying he was willing to begin talks with Moscow. 

But the Kiev government then launched an air strike on rebels who occupied a major airport.

Poroshenko built his career on increasing his wealth through pragmatic deals. Which is why people voted for him. 

He supports building strong ties with Europe but also has stressed the importance of mending relations with Moscow.

Pro-Moscow rebels have seized government buildings, strategic facilities and some towns there since April. 

They have declared independence from Ukraine and imposed martial law in what they call New Russia.

Russia welcomed Poroshenko’s offer for talks.

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Article information

Tue 27 May 2014, 17:42 BST
Issue No. 2405
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