The EU welcomes the holding yesterday of Presidential elections in Ukraine. We look forward to working closely together with the next President in view of ensuring the political and economic stability of Ukraine.
We take good note of the OSCE/ODIHR'spreliminary assessment that thepresidential election in Ukraine was characterised by high turnout and a clear resolve by the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and that respected fundamental freedoms, despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions of the country. All Ukrainians should take thesepolls as an opportunity for a fresh start for the country, and commence by accepting the outcome of the vote once the final results are known.
The successful holding of these elections constitutes a major step towards the objective of de-escalating tensions and restoring security for all Ukrainians. We count on the continued commitment of allparties to the Geneva Joint Statement to the electoralprocess and to its outcome, and welcome statements by the Russian Federation indicating that it will respect the will of the Ukrainianpeople and engage in a dialogue with the new Ukrainianpresident. We look forward to further concrete steps on this constructivepath, including the use of leverage on armed groups to de-escalate the situation on the ground.
Ukraine and itspeople now needpeace and stability in order to engage in the implementation of much needed and far-reaching reforms. The round tables of national unity have underlined thepreparedness of Ukrainians from differentpolitical backgrounds and regions to take up this challenge. The EU stands ready to assist Ukraine in this endeavour, and it counts on other internationalpartners to do the same.