The people of Ukraine held historic presidential elections on May 25, 2014. Today, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe issued a preliminary report, calling the elections "largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms in the vast majority of the country." Secretary of State John Kerry welcomed the report and congratulated the Ukrainian people on their elections. In a statement, the Secretary said:
"The United States congratulates the people of Ukraine and the Ukrainian government for their historic elections on May 25th. Ukrainians united to express their political will freely and to choose their own future together. The large turnout sends a clear message: the Ukrainian people want to live in a united, democratic and peaceful Ukraine anchored in European institutions.
"We welcome today’s preliminary report from the OSCE and other international observers, including their finding that the election demonstrated, 'the clear resolve of the authorities to hold what was a genuine election largely in line with international commitments and with a respect for fundamental freedoms in the vast majority of the country.' As the international observers made clear, the security situation and outright armed intimidation by separatist groups prevented some voters in two of Ukraine’s regions in the east from participating in the polling, while voting was also prevented in occupied Crimea. We commend the courage and determination of those in Donetsk and Luhansk who ensured voting did take place in some precincts. We thank the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and the many others who made this international observation effort possible.
"The successful conduct of these elections reaffirms Ukraine’s commitment to the democratic process. The United States will continue to work with the people of Ukraine and the newly elected President to build on this victory for democracy. We will support their efforts to determine their own future in a more united, secure, independent, and prosperous Ukraine. The United States respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, condemns and rejects Russia’s occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, and remains committed to working with Ukraine and other partners to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict."
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