Graham Watson MEP
Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
A local champion with an international reputation
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Published on Wednesday 24th November 2004
The latest reports coming from Ukraine about the outcome of the second round of the Presidential elections indicate that the elections failed to meet democratic standards. The officially announced results of the elections give rise to strong concern, with foreign election observers calling for reactions from the international community.
There should be no hesitation in the EU reaction to this flagrant breech of Ukraine's commitments. Ukraine has signed up to Council of Europe and OSCE commitments and honouring these are crucial for developing further links with the European Union.
I therefore call on the Dutch Presidency-in-office to add this issue to the agenda for the EU-Russia summit, scheduled for Thursday in the Hague, as Russia's and President Putin's involvement seems to have gone beyond acceptable relations between neighbouring countries. President Putin should get a clear signal that there is no return to the old days with spheres of interests - not in Ukraine, not in Belarus, not in Southern Caucasus.
ALDE Members in the EP's committee for Foreign Affairs will invite Mr Yushchenko to the European Parliament as soon as circumstances allow him to travel and to make it clear that Mr Yanukovych will be an isolated figure if he takes up office after this rigged election.
I hope that the Ukrainian parliament will do all it possibly can do in order to prevent abuse of power and falsification of results..