Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his victory in the runoff election held on April 21.
Yanukovych's greeting was announced by his press secretary Yuriy Kirasir, Russian news agency TASS reported.
In his greeting address, Yanukovych said Ukrainians had entrusted Zelensky this post "in the most difficult moment of history for the country."
"The peace-loving Ukrainian people is split and radicalized more than ever. Every day, fratricidal war in my native Donbas takes lives of Ukrainians and destroys the once thriving land," Yanukovych said.
At the same time, Yanukovych puts all the blame on incumbent President Petro Poroshenko. "The blame for this monstrous suffering lies on Petro Poroshenko and his allies who have throughout these years pursued policies of hatred and violence. The voters have already handed them down an unequivocal verdict by their voting. And history will certainly make it harsher," he said.
Yanukovych says Zelensky is now facing difficult tasks.
"The main ones are to bring peace to our country, unite and reconcile the Ukrainian people. Restore legality and justice. Improve the well-being of Ukrainians. Replace fear and despondency in people's hearts with hope and faith in the best, bring people something that unites, not splits," Yanukovych said.
According to the statement, the former president takes a"deep bow" before "a wise Ukrainian people who did not let themselves be deceived, did not succumb to provocations and lies, but made a conscious choice."
"Ukrainians have trusted you and hope that you will return peace and prosperity to our people. Do not let them down," Yanukovych said.