The European Union has followed with great concern the second round of the presidential elections in Ukraine, which was held on 21 November 2004.
Over the past weeks the Presidency, the High Representative and Member States have expressed their regret that the first round of the elections did not meet international standards. The EU has at several occasions urged Ukrainian authorities to observe democratic principles and to redress the deficiencies, including providing equal access to media for the two candidates, so that the second round of elections could be free and fair.
The EU has just learned the preliminary critical findings and conclusions of the OSCE/ODIHR International Election Observation Mission (IEOM). The second round of elections has clearly fallen short of international standards. In view of the irregularities detailed in the OSCE/ ODIHR report the EU seriously questions whether the official results will fully reflect the will of the Ukrainian electorate. The EU Presidency will be in touch without delay with the OSCE Chairmanship-in-Office to discuss further steps. The EU urgently calls on the Ukrainian authorities to review together with OSCE/ODIHR the electoral process and results. All EU member states will call in the Ukrainian ambassador to convey this message to their authorities.
The EU continues to follow the electoral process in Ukraine closely. It strongly calls on the Ukrainian authorities to show restraint and all sides to express themselves only in a non-violent manner.