Lithuanian Foreign Ministry’s statement on elections in Ukraine

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

We respect this choice by Ukrainian people, and believe that Ukraine will determinedly advance on the European road by creating strong, united and prosperous state. Lithuania will continue to support Ukraine in this context. We will continue to share our experience and provide the necessary assistance.

The vote was held in a challenging environment. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is occupied, the foreign-backed pro-Russian separatists impeded people to freely express their will in parts of Eastern Ukraine. Nonetheless, the Government of Ukraine succeeded in organizing free and fair democratic and transparent elections, meeting the international standards. The elections were observed by the record number of observers, among them 14 members of Lithuanian Seimas, 2 Lithuanian Members of European Parliament, 8 Lithuanian OSCE observers, and numerous representatives from Lithuanian NGOs. No major violations of election procedures were reported.

The newly elected Rada will face a big task of implementing the necessary reforms across many sectors. We believe that democratically elected representatives will determinedly implement these reforms aimed at creating strong, independent and European state.

It is symbolic that the vote was held few days before the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement starts to be applied, making Ukraine‘s European choice irreversible.

We regret that due to the external aggression democratic elections could not take place in Crimea and parts of Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts. We reiterate Lithuania‘s position that elections in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts must be conducted according to Ukrainian laws and respecting the provisions of Minsk agreements. However, the planned “so-called elections” on 2 November in these regions violates Minsk agreements. Lithuania will not recognize these “elections”. The international community must unanimously condemn this planned illegal action.

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