KYIV, Ukraine. (TND) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is demanding more aid from his country’s allies, saying it will be unable to properly hold an election otherwise.
The statement came in an interview published by Zelenskyy’s office Sunday, in which the president named the ongoing war with Russia and martial law as significant factors preventing an election.
“I told him: if the United States and Europe give us financial support… I’m sorry, I will not hold elections on credit, I will not take money from weapons and give it to elections either,” Zelenskyy said, recalling a conversation with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “But if you give me this financial support, if the parliamentarians realize that we need to do this, then let’s quickly change the legislation and, most importantly, let’s take risks together.”
The Ukrainian leader also acknowledged a lack of the infrastructure required to allow 7 million citizens of the country to cast votes.
“We need help from Europe here, because Ukrainians today are mostly in the European Union. Polling stations must be opened there so that people can come,” he said. “7 million people have to vote. We do not have such infrastructural capacities – we need to provide appropriate opportunities there.”
An election during times of peace is expected to cost the country about 5 billion hryvnia, or $135 million USD, Reuters wrote. This figure, however, could be higher during wartime.
The Biden administration has offered significant support to Ukraine. Congress was recently asked to send $20 billion in additional aid to the country on top of the current $113 billion already approved for such purpose.
In July, the Ukrainian parliament voted to strip a lawmaker of his position after he defied martial law by taking an extended vacation under false pretenses. During his two-month trip, the politician lodged at a five-star hotel in the Maldives with a nightly cost between $2,600 and $8,800 USD.