“We reiterate the EU's strongest support to the holding of free, transparent and fair Presidential elections in Ukraine on 25 May, allowing the Ukrainian people to choose their own future by peaceful and democratic means. Successful elections will be a major step to de-escalate tensions and restore security and political stability.
We are deeply saddened by the death of at least 16 people in Eastern Ukraine yesterday in further attempts to destabilise the situation ahead of the elections and convey our condolences to their families and the people of Ukraine. Ukrainian voters must be unimpeded in the exercise of their voting rights. Election authorities must be allowed to conduct elections without hindrance throughout the country and domestic and international observers must be allowed to fully fulfil their function.
The OSCE/ODIHR has deployed an observation mission to assess the elections' compliance with international standards and on the basis of that assessment results must be respected by all. The EU will pay particular attention to the attitude and behaviour of all parties and international partners in this respect.
The three round tables of national dialogue over the past week and the adoption of a bi-partisan Memorandum of Peace and Concord in the Verkhovna Rada signal the aspiration of all Ukrainians to jointly find solutions. This should facilitate the implementation of an important reform process and a continued outreach to the populations in all regions of Ukraine within the framework of the constitutional process.”