Ukraine after the Presidential Elections

2 June 2014

On 25 May, Petro Poroshenko became Ukraine’s 5th President, taking almost 55% of the vote. The result has, not only provided Ukraine with a legitimate, democratically elected leader, the very high voter turn-out has overwhelmingly demonstrated that Ukrainians support a united Ukraine. Given that Poroshenko ran a pro-European, pro-reform campaign, it has also shown that Ukrainians desire a European future, as a democratic country that respects the rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, in two areas of Eastern Ukraine - the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts - armed pro-Russian separatists prevented the majority of the people from voting by destroying ballot boxes, occupying electoral commission buildings and, in some cases, kidnapping officials. Hence, while the election of Poroshenko offers Ukraine a fresh start, the challenges are enormous with the new President taking on an occupied and crisis-ridden country.

This Policy Dialogue focused on whether the separatist regions have reacted to the election results, whether Moscow will be taking next more severe steps, and finally how the new administration will relate to the EU.