KIEV , Ukraine, May 2 (UPI) -- Ukrainian billionaire Petro Poroshenko leads the field of 21 candidates in Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election, a poll released this week indicates.
Poroshenko, 48, has the support of 48 percent of respondents in a joint survey by four polling services. His closest competitor, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, received 14 percent. His business interests in Ukraine include chocolate enterprises, shipyards, car plants and a television station.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in his Kiev office, Poroshenko, Ukraine’s former Foreign Affairs minister and Trade and Economic Development minister, noted, in plans to unite the country, “I know how to create jobs. I can be a diplomat. I intend to unite people, to demonstrate zero tolerance for corruption, to modernize the country.” He strongly supported the revolution that ousted former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in February, and commented on Russia’s involvement in eastern Ukraine.
“This is an unprecedented campaign because… (Russia) carries out intelligence, sabotage and terrorist operations on our territory," he said. "This ongoing war changes the mentality of our people, our voters. What is happening in eastern Ukraine now is completely the opposite of what was going on at independence Square in Kiev.”