BERN, 26 May 2014 – OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter, rates the early presidential elections in Ukraine of May 25 as an important milestone in the process of de-escalation of the crisis. He thanked the election observation mission of the OSCE Office Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) to Ukraine and the observation delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly for their invaluable work.
Commending Ukraine for holding elections with a high turnout, largely in line with international commitments and respectful of fundamental freedoms, despite difficult circumstances and violence and threats in two eastern regions, Burkhalter called on all sides to contribute to a further normalization of the situation in the country. Recalling the mandate of the OSCE Special Monitoring Missions to assist Ukraine in implementing various measures for reducing tensions, he said that the OSCE is looking forward to working closely with President-elect Petro Poroshenko and his government and promised the Chairmanship’s full support in peacefully resolving the crisis.
Burkhalter congratulated Poroshenko on his success and proposed a meeting between the two leaders. He welcomed Poroshenko’s announcement to arrange for early visits in the regions and to look out for co-operative solutions with all sides involved to continue on the path towards stabilization. “It is vital that all sides engage in dialogue, both within and beyond Ukraine,” Burkhalter concluded, adding that the Chairmanship is ready to assist any such efforts if requested by the parties.