EU: Elections in Ukraine to de-escalate social tensions

Xinhua, May 24, 2014

The European Union on Friday voiced support over upcoming presidential elections in Ukraine on Friday.

In a statement, EU said successful presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25 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" Thursday 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 fulfill their function, "the EU added.

According to the statement, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (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, it claimed.

The EU said they will pay particular attention to the attitude and behavior of all parties and international partners in this respect.

At the same time, the EU and Ukraine have developed their relationship by visa dialogue.

"Ukraine's path towards visa liberalization is moving ahead. Over the past few months the Ukrainian authorities have made important efforts to put in place the necessary legislative, policy and institutional framework and fulfill the first-phase requirements of our visa dialogue," EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom said in another statement.

"The legislation passed and other measures adopted are sufficient to consider that Ukraine has been able to meet the first stage benchmarks of the Visa Liberalization Action Plan and I suggest to my colleagues in the Commission that we move to the 2nd phase, where we will be checking the implementation of all these rules. This assessment will be reflected in the Commission's next report, which is to be adopted shortly." she added.