U.S. State Department 'Looks Forward' To Working With New Ukrainian Government
By RFE/RL July 23, 2019
WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department said it looks forward to working with a new Ukrainian government after the political party of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy won an outright victory in the July 21 parliamentary elections.
In a congratulatory statement, the State Department said it "will work with the new Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people as they advance reforms critical to ensuring Ukraine's success."
Zelenskiy's Servant of the People party won 60 percent of the available 424 seats, the first time in the country's post-independence history that a single party got a solid majority.
The outcome further highlighted the public's rejection of Ukraine's established political order.
Altogether, at least 320 elected members – more than three-quarters – never served in parliament.
One in five are women, the highest ever with 87 getting elected.
Zelenskiy now has a strong mandate to move ahead with reforms to establish the rule of law, clamp down on corruption and still must contend with a smoldering conflict against Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that is in its sixth year.
"The United States maintains its unwavering support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression," the State Department said.
Russia denies leading, training, equipping or fighting beside the separatists in the easternmost regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Zelenskiy is expected to visit U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington later this summer.
For prime minister, the Ukrainian president siad he wants an economist who never held a top political post.
"I believe this person must be a professional economist," Zelenskiy said after casting his ballot on July 21.
"I would like this person to be absolutely independent and have never been prime minister, speaker, or leader of any [parliamentary] faction," he said.
Zelenskiy also said that his party won't form a ruling coalition with another party.
He has already met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, and held a phone discussion with his adversary Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The State Department concluded its statement saying: "We continue to stand with the people of Ukraine as they build a strong, successful, democratic country, secure within its internationally recognized borders," the State Department said.
Copyright (c) 2019. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|