EU leaders welcome the holding of the elections on 25 May as an expression of the will of the Ukrainian people. The EU focuses its efforts on de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine. It supports an inclusive dialogue and the protection of the unity and territorial integrity of the country to ensure a stable, prosperous and democratic future for Ukraine's citizens. To help Ukraine in this effort, the EU has stepped-up its support for Ukraine's economic and political reforms.
On 27 May EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss the situation following the Presidential election in Ukraine. They welcomed the holding of elections on 25 May as an expression of the will of the Ukrainian people. Despite the hostile security environment in two eastern regions of the country, the presidential election was characterised by high turnout. The election was also largely in line with international commitments and respecting fundamental freedoms.
EU leaders are now looking forward to working closely with the new President. They called on all parties to accept the outcome of the elections and expect the Russian Federation to cooperate with the newly elected and legitimate President. They also called on Russia to continue the withdrawal of armed forces from the Ukrainian border and to use its leverage on the armed separatists to de-escalate the situation in Eastern Ukraine.
The EU encourages the Ukrainian authorities to continue to reach out to the population and civil society of all regions of Ukraine. This also includes the round tables of national dialogue. The EU welcomes the Memorandum of Peace and Concord adopted by the Ukrainian Parliament on 20 May. Swift and inclusive reforms of the constitution and de-centralisation as well as the reform of the judiciary, the prosecutor's office and the security sector are important. Stepping up the fight against corruption and protecting the rights of persons belonging to national minorities are also key objectives. The European Union stands ready to support Ukraine in its reform efforts.
An EU crisis response expert mission is currently on the ground in Ukraine to assist the authorities in analysing Ukrainian needs for support in terms of civil security reform (police and rule of law). EU Foreign Ministers also agreed to examine more options for support, including a mission under the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy . The EU has also increased its support for the work of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Ukraine.
A Ukraine support group was created to ensure that the Ukrainian authorities have all the assistance they need to undertake the political and economic reforms that are necessary to stabilise the country. In March the European Commission also proposed a series of economic and financial support measures as part of international efforts in support of Ukraine's economic and political reforms. € 11 billion could be available over the next years to stabilise the economic and financial situation, assist with the transition and encourage political and economic reform. Members of European Commission and of the Government of Ukraine also agreed to new measures supporting Ukraine's short- and medium-term needs. The parties signed a new “State Building Contract” programme, worth €355 million, and complemented by a 10 million programme to support civil society.
The EU is ready to enhance people-to-people contacts between the citizens of the European Union and Ukraine, for example through the visa liberalisation process, in line with agreed conditions in the framework of the Visa Liberalisation Action Plan. It is important that the Government of Ukraine improves the macro-economic balance and business climate and eradicates corruption. International partners, including the Russian Federation, should contribute to these stabilisation efforts. An agreement on the conditions of the gas supply from the Russian Federation to Ukraine will also be important.
The European Commission and the EEAS continue their preparatory work on possible targeted measures and preparations for possible further steps on that basis should events so require.