Ukraine president addresses nation after being taken to hospital with coronavirus

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 27, 2020, 07.19 PM(IST)

FILE PHOTO: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a joint news briefing with Polish President Andrzej Duda (not pictured) as they meet in Kyiv, Ukraine October 12, 2020. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Along with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, three other top officials, including the finance minister, the defence minister and Zelenskiy's top aide were also reported to be infected with coronavirus

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed the nation in two videos on Thursday. This was his first apperance since he was hospitalised after testing positive for coronavirus this week.

Zelenskiy said that he felt good and the government was working as normal.

"As you know, COVID-19 has not avoided me, but I feel good," Zelenskiy said.

In his address, Zelenskiy expressed displeasure against Constitutional Court that struck down anti-corruption legislation that is crucial for Ukraine to receive loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A former comedian and actor, Zelenskiy compared the court to protagonists in the 2001 Hollywood heist movie Ocean's Eleven.

"This is not Ocean's Eleven, this is a remake made with the support of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine," he said.

"But seriously, they could cancel major reforms and deprive us of very important financial support for us, and we, as a society and country, do not need such plot twists. Spoiler alert: they won't succeed."

Last month, Zelenskiy had asked parliament to dissolve the court.

Along with Zelenskiy, three other top officials, including the finance minister, the defence minister and Zelenskiy's top aide were also reported to be infected with coronavirus

Ukraine registered a total of 500,865 coronavirus cases as of Thursday, with 9,145 deaths.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed the nation in two videos on Thursday, his first appearance since being hospitalised after testing positive for COVID-19 this week.

Sitting in a chair in front of a Ukrainian flag, Zelenskiy said he felt good and the government was working as normal. He also spoke about his administration's standoff with the Constitutional Court over anti-corruption reforms.

The president, 42, was moved to hospital to self-isolate and not put others at risk, his office said.

Three other top officials, including the finance minister, the defence minister and Zelenskiy's top aide were also reported to be infected.

"As you know, COVID-19 has not avoided me, but I feel good," Zelenskiy said.

He then turned his fire on the Constitutional Court, which in October struck down anti-corruption legislation that is crucial for Ukraine to receive loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

A former comedian and actor, Zelenskiy compared the court to protagonists in the 2001 Hollywood heist movie Ocean's Eleven.

"This is not Ocean's Eleven, this is a remake made with the support of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine," he said.

"But seriously, they could cancel major reforms and deprive us of very important financial support for us, and we, as a society and country, do not need such plot twists. Spoiler alert: they won't succeed."

Zelenskiy last month asked parliament to dissolve the court, which the court's head denounced as a "constitutional coup".

Ukrainian new coronavirus infections began spiking in late September and have remained consistently high in October and November, prompting the government to extend some restrictions until the end of the year.

On Wednesday, Zelenskiy's Cabinet voted to impose a national lockdown at weekends to strengthen steps to curb the rapid spread of infection.

Ukraine registered a total of 500,865 coronavirus cases as of Thursday, with 9,145 deaths.

(With Reuters input)

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