U.S. DNI sees lack of clear frontrunner at Ukraine's presidential elections
U.S. National Intelligence Director Daniel Coats believes that there are currently no obvious frontrunners for the 2019 presidential election in Ukraine.
"The large field of presidential candidates, high levels of distrust in political elites, and lack of a clear frontrunner may provide Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's rivals, as well as lesser known candidates and political newcomers, an opportunity to appeal to the largely undecided Ukrainian electorate," Coats said in his "Worldwide Threat Assessment" statement at the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
At the same time, Coats said that Russia is taking steps to influence elections in Ukraine.
"Russia is taking steps to influence these elections, applying a range of tools to exert influence and exploit Kyiv's fragile economy, widespread corruption, cyber vulnerabilities, and public discontent in hopes of ousting Poroshenko and bringing to power a less anti-Russia parliament," Coats said.
Ukraine will hold a presidential election in March 2019 and legislative elections in the fall. Currently, the number of presidential candidates registered by the Central Election Commission of Ukraine has reached 23 people. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Tuesday about his intention to take part in the presidential elections in Ukraine.