Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin today (26 May) on yesterday’s presidential elections in Ukraine:
The elections have clearly shown the will of the Ukrainian voters. People in Ukraine turned out to vote because they want confrontation, chaos and corruption to end. They want opportunities – for themselves and for their country. They want Ukrainian unity. Hence the vast majority gave their vote to a candidate who promised them exactly that.
A candidate who receives more than half of the votes has a clear mandate from the electorate. He is also placed under a great obligation. If this is confirmed in the final official results, then:
I congratulate Petro Poroshenko on the impressive election result. Ukraine’s new president is facing major tasks, the most challenging of them the deep divide in the eastern part of the country. Only if bridges can be build swiftly will Ukraine be stabilised on the political and economic fronts.
I therefore welcome Mr Poroshenko’s intention of travelling to the eastern part of the country straight away to campaign for the unity of Ukraine.
It is lamentable that many people in Donetsk and Lugansk were unable to exercise their right to vote owing to intimidation and violence on the part of separatists. We will base our analysis of the elections on the OSCE election observers’ assessment. Given the reports we have seen, I am confident we will come to a favourable conclusion.
In this context, I expect all OSCE participating states to follow their election observers’ assessment of the elections and to base their policies towards the elected candidate on that. Initial signs from Moscow seem to be pointing in the right direction today.