New president vows to return Crimea to Ukraine

Ukraine's new billionare president makes a vow to "ensure peace and stability" and to return Crimea to the country.

New president vows to return Crimea to Ukraine

World Bulletin / News Desk

Ukraine's new president, Petro Poroshenko, has vowed "to ensure peace and stability" while seeking to return Crimea to the country.

His comments on Monday followed the release of the first election results confirming his decisive win with 55.9 percent of the votes.

He pledged to find a solution to the crisis in Ukraine, saying his attention would "be focused on stopping the war, to put an end to this chaos and bring peace to a united Ukraine."

Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko trailed behind Poroshenko with about 13 percent of the vote.

Poroshenko pointed out that he was ready and determined to hold talks with people in the eastern Donbass region, regardless of their political opinions and attitudes, saying the primary duty of a president was to protect his country’s citizens from armed people, bring peace, provide stability and create employment.

Top priorities

The new president plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the first half of June after visiting Poland's President Bronisław Komorowski at the beginning of the month.

The "Crimea issue" was also among the top priorities in Ukraine, Poroshenko said.

On March 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine following a referendum in the region where 97 percent of voters chose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia, following the ouster of President Victor Yanukovich after months of anti-government protests.

Meanwhile, Turkey, NATO and the EU welcomed Ukraine's presidential election results.

"We congratulate the people of Ukraine for their democratic maturity and welcome the presidential elections which was widely-participated," said a statement issued by Turkey's Foreign Ministry.

'Overcoming crisis'

Officials said more than 3,500 international observers had monitored the elections and about 90,000 security officers guaranteed security during the voting.

The statement described the high-turnout polls as "an opportunity to overcome the crisis by embracing all parts of the country with dialogue".

"We would like to avail the opportunity to reiterate our opinion to solve the crisis in Crimea, which is home for 300,000 people of our ethnic kin, within the international law and diplomatic means," the statement added.

Tatars in Crimea, which has a population of one million of them, went to the polls located in Kherson region which is under the control of Ukraine's government.

'Strong ties'

Poroshenko said earlier on Monday that he would support strong ties with Europe, but also desired to mend ties with Russia.

The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the EU Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, also welcomed the elections.

"The successful holding of these elections constitutes a major step towards the objective of de-escalating tensions and restoring security for all Ukrainians," they said in a joint statement.

NATO Secretary-General Andreas Fogh Rasmussen also hailed the polls.

"Despite the criminal violence, intimidation and provocation by pro-Russian separatists, who tried to deny the people of Ukraine their democratic right, the election was declared by international observers to be largely in line with international commitments and respectful of fundamental freedoms," he said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Mayıs 2014, 11:44