WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on yesterday's parliamentary elections in Ukraine:
"Yesterday, the people of Ukraine gave their leaders a decisive mandate to work for peace, tackle rampant corruption, and stay the course toward European integration. With millions of Ukraine's citizens disenfranchised as a result of the Russian-led insurrection and illegal occupation of Crimea, it's critical that this new government look for other ways to discern the will of those citizens who, for the moment, find themselves behind a new Iron Curtain.
“Today, the hard work of governing resumes and the United States must redouble our efforts to help the authorities in Kyiv as they confront daunting economic challenges, a precarious security situation, and an energy shortfall with winter on the way. Ukraine is the largest country in Europe and its success will determine whether the post-Cold War vision of a continent, whole, free, and at peace is achieved in reality or becomes an unpleasant reminder of what could have been."
Ukraine's parliamentary elections were widely observed by domestic and international monitors and took place in a calm atmosphere with only isolated disturbances and security incidents. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) headed the observation mission and deemed the nationwide poll to have been "well-organized and orderly" and "an important step in consolidating democratic elections in line with international commitments." The OSCE is widely considered the gold standard of election observation. The United States is one of the OSCE's 57 participating States, which include Russia, Ukraine, and all 28 EU Member States. Switzerland currently chairs the OSCE.