It has been 16 months since the former actor Volodymyr Selenskyi took over the office of Ukrainian President as a lateral entrant. Everything, he had promised, he would change; Above all, he wanted to be the “President of Peace”. He could do “everything”
The 42-year-old, who is coming to Vienna today, Tuesday, at the invitation of Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen, will not change anything, but at least some.
Domestically, Selenskyi pushed through the abolition of parliamentary immunity, which had been discussed for two decades, and land reform. As for peace, a ceasefire agreed at the end of July with the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine is fragile, but according to experts it is still the most stable to date.
President of “Peace”
Between Zelenskyi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in charge of the strings in Donbass as well as in Crimea, which has been annexed by Russia, there are at least more diplomatic efforts and contacts. In addition to the ceasefire, this also results in two planned new crossings over the contact line between the breakaway areas and the rest of Ukraine. A real peace between Kiev and the Moscow-loyal separatists in Donbass is not in sight. More than 13,000 people have died since 2014. OSCE monitors are on duty to verify compliance with the ceasefire.
The situation in eastern Ukraine and on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea will be the subject of discussion in Vienna at Selenskyi’s meetings with Van der Bellen, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and President of the National Council Wolfgang Sobotka. Bilateral economic issues are just as much on the agenda as humanitarian aid.
And since the historical connections to Austria go back a long way to the K.-u.-K. times, according to the APA, Selenskyi has a special wish with him: the new space in front of the St. Barbara Church in the 1st district – for centuries the center of the Ukrainian Catholic Orthodox in Austria – may
please be baptized “Ukraine-Platz”