In recent parliamentary elections, the Ukrainian people voted overwhelmingly for parties advocating democracy, reform and European integration.
According to preliminary reports from the country’s Central Election Commission, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's Popular Front and the bloc headed by President Petro Poroshenko each received about 22 percent of the vote.
The likeminded Self Help Party of western Ukraine came in third place with about 11 percent, while the Opposition Bloc, made up of allies of ousted Moscow-backed president Viktor Yanukovych, was fourth with nearly 10 percent.
There were, however, security challenges that impeded some Ukrainians from exercising their right to vote. Clearly, Russian authorities occupying Crimea and Russian-backed separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine prevented many Ukrainian citizens from exercising their democratic rights to participate in national elections and cast their votes.
President Barack Obama called on “Russia to ensure that its proxies in eastern Ukraine allow voters in the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk subject to the Special Status Law to choose their representatives in legitimate local elections on December 7, in keeping with the agreement that Russia and separatist representatives signed on September 5, 2014. The United States will not recognize any election held in separatist-held areas that does not comport with Ukrainian law and is not held with the express consent and under the authority of the Ukrainian government.”
“The parliamentary election in Ukraine,” said President Obama, “represents another important milestone in Ukraine’s democratic development. We look forward to the convening of the new parliament and the quick formation of a strong, inclusive government.”
The United States stands ready to support the choices of the Ukrainian people and Ukraine’s new government as it enacts and implements the reforms necessary to promote further democratic development, strengthen the rule of law, and foster economic stability and growth in Ukraine.
The United States continues to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as it works toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the east and a return of Crimea, and will stand with its people as they seek to build a more secure, prosperous, and democratic future.