Putin Insists Zelensky's Term is Up, Calls for Elections

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Russian President Vladimir Putin stated today that Ukraine should conduct presidential elections following the conclusion of President Volodymyr Zelensky's five-year term, according to Reuters. However, elections are not planned due to an earlier decision, deemed appropriate by Zelensky and his allies given the wartime circumstances.

Zelensky assumed office on May 20, 2019. Putin now asserts that Ukraine's only legitimate authority is its parliament, suggesting that the speaker should assume presidential responsibilities.

Putin stressed that Russia has always been open to peace talks, unlike Ukraine. He accused the West of provoking Russia's recent offensive in Ukraine's Kharkiv region by disregarding Russian warnings against allowing Ukraine to attack Russia's adjacent Belgorod region.

Additionally, Putin warned that strikes on Russian territory with Western-supplied weapons to Ukraine are feasible only with assistance from Western specialists, which could lead to severe consequences.

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