EU calls for ‘free and fair’ elections in Ukraine

Promoted content

EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle called on Ukrainian leaders and opposition on Thursday to form an ‘inclusive’ government and urged Kiev to ensure ‘free and fair elections’ in the crisis-hit country.

In a 3 day visit to Kiev, in which he held talks with government and opposition, Füle insisted on the need for both sides to agree on constitutional reform, potentially limiting government powers.

“There is the need, number one, to take urgent steps on constitutional reforms, and formation of the new inclusive government, and ensuring free and fair elections.”

“For this process to be successful, it needs to be inclusive – not only about the authorities and opposition, but also about the civil society and also a business community. They are extremely important to unlock the full potential of this beautiful country.” said EU Enlargement commissioner Štefan Füle.

The Ukrainian conflict started in November, after Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich declined to sign a free trade deal with the European Union in favour of closer ties with Moscow.

The move spurred huge opposition from Ukrainian citizens, with hundreds of thousands taking to the streets to protest against the government.

But commissioner Füle also warned Ukraine that ‘intimidations and harassment’ against protesters should end.

“I stressed also that Ukraine needs more security and no impunity; this means respect and protection for rights and freedoms, end of intimidations, harassment, quick and transparent investigations of acts of violence. In one of the findings of my visitors, it is strange and unacceptable that injured are brought to hospitals by police and not by ambulances.” said EU Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle.

Meanwhile, EU High representative Catherine Ashton will meet IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday to discuss how to provide financial assistance to Ukraine.

Subscribe to our newsletters