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Offshore issue unlikely to undermine president's power, it is just mere droplet – political scientist

KYIV. Oct 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Leakage of the Pandora Papers offshore documents is unlikely to weaken the power of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, Head of the Ukrainian Politics Foundation, political scientist Kost Bondarenko has said.

"Zelensky knew that eventually the issue of offshore companies would arise and appear on the agenda [...]. He could take the lead, but he failed," Bondarenko said during a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Wednesday.

According to the political scientist, instead of taking the lead, the president's team "started to look for some way out." "First the campaign started "what is it? Offshore is good" [...] This helplessness testifies to the fact that strategically, Zelensky's team does not take the lead, only follow the principle "solve the problem when it appears," Bondarenko said.

The political scientist believes the disclosure of information about offshore companies will not affect the overall image of the head of state.

"They say that the offshore issue will undermine Zelensky's power, I think his influence is unlikely. This is just mere droplet, there will be many of them. I think the totality of all these droplets can become a factor that will lead to a weakening of Zelensky's power," Bondarenko said.

As reported with reference to the Slidstvo.Info data, information about over 1,500 Ukrainians, including President Volodymyr Zelensky and his colleagues from previous work, Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko, businessmen Oleksandr Yaroslavsky, Ihor Voronin and Rinat Akhmetov, former owners of PrivatBank Ihor Kolomoisky and Hennadiy Boholiubov, MP Oleksandr Hereha is mentioned in the Pandora Papers new global leak of offshore documents.

According to the data they received, the offshore companies of Zelensky and his team have received $40 million from offshore companies associated with Kolomoisky since 2012, when the Kvartal 95 studio started cooperating with the businessman's 1 + 1 television channel.

It is indicated that before being elected president in 2019, Zelensky transferred his share in the offshore company to First Assistant to the president Serhiy Shefir.