Government Communications Department
Press release 210/2014
23 May 2014
On Friday 23 May 2014, the President of the Republic and the Cabinet Committee on Foreign and Security Policy discussed the current situation in Ukraine.
The presidential elections to be held on Sunday 25 May 2014 are at the core of the situation in Ukraine. It is vital for the future development of the country that it is possible to hold free and fair elections, without disruptions, in the whole of Ukraine. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has sent the largest election observer mission in its history to observe the presidential elections in Ukraine. Finland has assigned three election observers on a long-term basis and 21 observers on a short-term basis. The observers must be able to conduct their work unimpeded.
To carry out the presidential elections successfully is part of the four-point road map presented by the OSCE, which aims to stabilise the situation in Ukraine. Finland offers strong support to this.
Finland continues to view the implementation of the resolution adopted in Geneva on 17 April as highly important. Finland sees the start of the national dialogue as a positive development. New parliamentary elections must also be agreed on to reinforce legitimacy of democracy in Ukraine.
Finland is deeply concerned about the unrest, acts of violence and activities by separatist and other extreme forces which are still taking place in eastern Ukraine. All parties involved, including Russia, should use their influence to calm down the situation in different areas and to ensure that the elections can be held successfully. Finland condemns the so-called referendums held on 11 May 2014 in the areas of Donetsk and Luhansk as illegal. In addition, the deteriorated human rights situation in eastern Ukraine gives rise to grave concern.
As regards the crisis in Ukraine, Finland takes part in implementing the decisions made by the European Union which include the policy settings of the European Council on 20 March 2014, and underlines the importance of unity in the EU.
The Committee also discussed Nato’s Partnership for Peace Planning and Review Process (PARP).
Inquiries: Jaana Teckenberg, Head of Unit, tel. +358 295 350 881, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Esa Pulkkinen, Director-General, tel. +358 295 140 300, Ministry of Defence