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Presidential elections in Ukraine to be held as scheduled'

Presidential elections in Ukraine to be held as scheduled

Kiev: The Ukrainian parliament on Wednesday adopted a decree which said the next presidential elections will be held as per schedule on March 31, 2019.

Parliament adopted the decree amid speculation that the martial law, which was imposed in certain Ukrainian regions, may lead to a postponement of the elections.

It is prohibited in Ukraine to hold elections when martial law is in place.

Martial law was introduced in 10 Ukrainian regions on Wednesday for 30 days over tensions with Russia around the Kerch Strait.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko emphasised that "martial law does not mean the declaration of war", but a step toward strengthening Ukraine's defense.

Meanwhile, in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Poroshenko of trying to boost his ratings ahead of 2019 presidential elections with a naval confrontation off Crimea, BBC reported.

Russian FSB border guards opened fire on two Ukrainian gunboats and a tug before seizing the Ukrainian crews. Ukraine has condemned the incident as a Russian "act of aggression".

"He had to do something to make the situation more tense," Putin told an investment forum on Wednesday.

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