By Simon Basketter
Downloading PDF. Please wait... Issue 2405

Balancing act for Ukraine’s new leader Petro Poroshenko

This article is over 7 years, 7 months old
Issue 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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