WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the presidential election in Ukraine:
“I congratulate the people of Ukraine on holding a successful presidential election, and I congratulate the presumptive President-elect, Petro Poroshenko. On Sunday, millions of Ukrainians braved threats, provocations, and even violence to exercise their rights in a vote that the OSCE and other international observers judged to be largely free and fair. When the Ukrainian people cast their votes, they had real choices about which direction they wanted to take their country. They voted with confidence that their voices would be heard and counted. And the path they’ve chosen is clear.
“With their votes, the people of Ukraine have signaled that they believe in unity, democracy, and the right to choose their own future free of outside pressure and intimidation. This election therefore represents an important milestone for Ukraine on the road to restoring stability and economic and political health, and I urge Ukraine's new leader to continue the process of reconciliation and to represent all regions of Ukraine and all Ukrainians. At the same time, I call on President Putin and Russia to respect the outcome of Ukraine's vote, to refrain from further aggression against Ukraine, and to immediately cease destabilizing actions in the country.
“As Ukraine seeks to unify and heal, now is time for United States, Europe, and partners around the work to rally to the side of Ukraine and its new leader. We must reaffirm our support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and our support for the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to build a democratic, prosperous, and secure future.”