New Ukraine President Zelenskiy dissolves parliament


Vladimir Putin will send formal greetings to Volodymyr Zelensky but not until the new Ukrainian President succeeds in ending the war in Donbass and repairing ties with Russian Federation, the Kremlin said.

Even before he disbanded the Supreme Rada, which had been one of his campaign promises, the 41-year-old Zelenskiy had upended the traditions of Ukrainian politics.

As leader of a country dependent on worldwide aid and battling separatists, Zelensky will have to deal with rebellious elites and deep-seated economic problems and stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The new president has invited parliamentary leaders for consultations on early elections on Tuesday morning, according to a Samopomich lawmaker.

He also vowed to stop the war against Moscow-backed separatists in the east of the country that has claimed over 13,000 lives.

Petro Poroshenko, who was running for his second five-year term, received just 25% of the votes.

"All my life I tried to do all I could so that Ukrainians laughed", Mr Zelensky, a television comedian, told MPs during a ceremony in the parliament in Kiev.

Mr Poroshenko led Ukraine for five years, grappling with the fallout from Russia's 2014 Crimea annexation and the war in the east.

Three days after Zelensky's election, the Kremlin announced it was easing procedures for those living in the eastern separatist regions to gain Russian citizenship.

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Ukraine's President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy takes the oath of office during his inauguration ceremony in the parliament hall in Kiev, Ukraine May 20, 2019. "This is a domestic [policy] issue of Ukraine which can and must be solved by the President on the basis of..."

Zelenskiy high fived cheering supporters who held their arms outstretched outside the Soviet-era parliament building, and stopped for a selfie with the crowd.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who won 73 per cent of the vote last month, justified his contentious decision on the grounds that the legislature, controlled by allies of the man he defeated, is riddled with self-enrichment.

Ukraine's ambassador, Volodymyr Yelchenko, said Russia's attempt "to send a very powerful message to the new leader from the Security Council" ended up instead being a message for Russian Federation.

Born in Kryvyi Rih, near Dnipro, to a Jewish family of scientists, Zelensky rarely speaks of his Jewish ancestry in interviews.

While Poroshenko averted complete collapse and launched a series of key reforms he was widely criticized for failing to improve Ukrainians' living standards or effectively fight all-pervasive corruption. His critics question how he will deal with the enormous challenges of the separatist conflict and ongoing economic problems.

Ukraine's allies have given Zelensky a warm welcome, but one Ukrainian site specializing in worldwide affairs, Evropeyska Pravda, suggested this was a "hug strategy" to ensure he continued to pursue a rapprochement with the West.

In his speech in front of MPs, officials and foreign dignitaries, Zelenskiy said his election showed people were exhausted of an exploitative political class and told lawmakers who weren't ready to change things they should resign.