OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation visits eastern Ukraine

2014-VISIT-Ukraine-Oliver-Kanerva-roadsideThe OSCE PA’s delegation to eastern Ukraine, including Vice-President Ilkka Kanerva (right), Kent Harstedt (left) and Secretary General Spencer Oliver (center) visit a checkpoint in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast.COPENHAGEN, 30 April 2014 – A senior delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has completed a visit to the Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya oblasts in eastern Ukraine as part of the Assembly's ongoing activities in preparation for observation of the country’s presidential election.

OSCE PA Vice-President Ilkka Kanerva (MP, Finland) led the delegation, which also included Kent Harstedt, the Deputy Head of Sweden’s Delegation to the OSCE PA, and OSCE PA Secretary General Spencer Oliver.

The delegation met with election administration officials, candidate representatives and civil society and was briefed by Long-Term Election Observers from the OSCE/ODIHR in both oblasts.

The OSCE PA team also met with representatives of local and regional government, including the Mayor of Dnipropetrovsk city and the Deputy Governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, to discuss the security situation and preparations for the 25 May vote.

“While here to get informed about the election and the campaign, the troubling security situation in the east of the country and the unpredictability was an underlying theme in all of our discussions. That being said, our visits to Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhya -- both neighbours to Donetsk -- showed that the current situation is generally calm here,” said Vice-President Kanerva.

The OSCE PA also visited one of numerous checkpoints established jointly by self-defence forces and security officials in the area.

“The importance of this election cannot be overstated. Happily, it is clear that this feeling is shared by those we met, who demonstrated strong commitment to the success of this vote and a willingness to overcome the underlying tensions. These elections will be critical to the country’s moving on and addressing the many challenges it faces,” said Harstedt.

Before joining the delegation in eastern Ukraine, OSCE PA Secretary General Oliver visited Kyiv on 27 April. He was briefed by Tana de Zulueta, the leader of the OSCE/ODIHR’s Election Observation Mission, and her team, on their work to date. Both sides pledged to continue close co-operation throughout the election process.

Oliver also met with Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, who heads the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Ambassador Apakan provided an update on the work on the Mission, its plans in the coming months, and the security issues affecting the monitors’ work.

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly plans to complete additional pre-election visits to Ukraine in the coming weeks.

For photos from the visit, click here.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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