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Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy to address first parliamentary session since election

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Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy to address first parliamentary session since election

ukraine parliament zelenskiy
Photo: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko

Ukraine’s new parliament will be sworn in today.

The July 21 parliamentary elections swept President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s Servant of the People into the Rada with an outright majority–– it holds 254 of the 424 occupied seats. Having campaigned under a banner of change, Zelenskiy’s party will have to deliver on its promises, of which two primary ones are uprooting the country’s notorious network of corruption and ending the war in the east with Russia.

On the corruption front, Zelenskiy will likely attempt to push through bills that end lawmaker’s immunity––as to prevent abuse of power–– and confiscate the property of those who violate anticorruption laws.

The sweeping victory of Servant of the People is welcome news to the West, particularly NATO. Expect the Rada to pass measures that will increase Ukraine’s defence spending above 5% of GDP, up from 3.4% in 2017, and reform its military in accordance with NATO standards. Regardless, ending the eastern conflict with Russia will be challenging as it relies on the cooperation of the Kremlin, which has a keen interest in undermining the success of Zelenskiy’s new, pro-West government. On this front, expect little progress to be made in the short to medium term.

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