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Ukrainian Presidential Rivals Propose Different Dates For Public Debate


Petro Poroshenko (left) and Volodymyr Zelenskiy underwent drug and alcohol testing in Kyiv last week.

KYIV -- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and rival Volodymyr Zelenskiy have proposed different dates for a public debate ahead of their presidential runoff on April 21.

Political newcomer Zelenskiy, who secured 30.24 percent in the March 31 first-round presidential election, said in a video statement on Facebook on April 8 that the debate at Kyiv's Olympiyskiy Stadium should be held on April 19.

The debate had been tentatively scheduled for April 19, ahead of a "day of quiet" before the vote.

During a televised interview on April 7, Poroshenko, who took second place with 15.95 percent in the first round, proposed to hold the debate on April 14.

Meanwhile, Poroshenko said on April 7 that he will undergo additional drug tests in line with the standards of the World Anti-Doping Agency following allegations that his initial tests may have been falsified by labs in Kyiv.

Last week, Zelenskiy challenged Poroshenko to drug and alcohol tests.

Poroshenko accepted, undergoing tests in the Olimpiyskiy Stadium while Zelenskiy was tested in a private clinic.