The comedian who is odds-on favorite in Ukraine’s presidential election promised Thursday to hold a nationwide referendum on joining NATO only after building a national consensus on the issue.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a popular comic actor who’s leading in the polls far ahead of President Poroshenko, said “we have clearly chosen our path to Europe.”
Zelenskiy vowed to make ending hostilities in the east his top priority. In Thursday’s interview, he pledged to reach out to people living in the rebel-controlled areas to again make them feel part of Ukraine.
Zelenskiy also said he would push for an early parliamentary election.
The latest opinion poll released Thursday showed the comedian maintaining a massive lead against Poroshenko.
The survey, conducted by the Rating agency, shows Zelenskiy with 58% support while Poroshenko has just 22%. The poll of 3,000 people had a margin of error of 1.8 percentage points.