the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the President on Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine

On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Ukraine on holding successful parliamentary elections on October 26. Despite a challenging security environment in certain regions, millions of Ukrainians turned out across the country to cast their ballots in an orderly and peaceful manner. I commend the Government of Ukraine for the conduct of the campaign and election day vote, which international monitoring organizations assess to have been largely in line with international standards.

At the same time, it is clear that Russian authorities occupying Crimea and Russian-backed separatists in parts of eastern Ukraine prevented many Ukrainian citizens from exercising their democratic rights to participate in national elections and cast their votes. I call on Russia to ensure that its proxies in eastern Ukraine allow voters in the parts of Donetsk and Luhansk subject to the Special Status Law to choose their representatives in legitimate local elections on December 7, in keeping with the agreement that Russia and separatist representatives signed in Minsk, Belarus, on September 5, 2014. The United States will not recognize any election held in separatist-held areas that does not comport with Ukrainian law and is not held with the express consent and under the authority of the Ukrainian government.

Yesterday’s parliamentary vote represents another important milestone in Ukraine’s democratic development. We look forward to the convening of the new parliament and the quick formation of a strong, inclusive government. The United States stands ready to support the choices of the Ukrainian people and Ukraine’s new government as it enacts and implements the reforms necessary to promote further democratic development, strengthen the rule of law, and foster economic stability and growth in Ukraine. The United States also will continue to support Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as it works toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the east and a return of Crimea, and will stand with its people as they seek to build a more secure, prosperous, and democratic future.