Poroshenko says president has no vacations and cannot transfer his powers to anyone

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said that the head of state has no vacations and he cannot delegate his powers to someone else, adding that his private trip to the Maldives in January 2018 was paid from his account in a Ukrainian bank.

"In accordance with the constitution, the president has no right to transfer his duties to anyone. Therefore, for almost four years I have been in touch around the clock, acting as president, supreme commander-in-chief. I did not delegate these duties to anyone in early January. Ukraine's president has no vacations, since, in accordance with the constitution, he cannot entrust anyone with performing his duties," he said at a press conference in Kyiv on Wednesday, February 28.

Poroshenko noted that he crossed the state border in early January under his surname and with his own passport and was properly registered by border guards.

"Of course, I did not know at the time, but I instructed my security service to check it and I received confirmation. My flight was registered in accordance with the requirements of the current legislation. If you do not have access to the database of border guards, then, sorry, this is personal data, and you cannot have access to them. If any competent authority wants to check border guards, it will find all the necessary information in a timely manner," he said.

The president also said that he had paid for the flight and accommodation in a hotel in the Maldives from his account in a Ukrainian bank and that this would be reflected in his income declaration that will be submitted in the next few weeks.

"I emphasize that not a single kopeck was spent on this from the state budget, and all funds were declared and taxes were paid. The press service informed the public about this immediately after my return," Poroshenko said.