Photo: World Economic Forum (c) 2013
Lord Risby urges Ukraine to go ahead with planned presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014
26 April 2014
Lord Risby, a prominent British politician, member of the House of Lords and Chairman of the British Ukrainian Society, urged Ukraine to go ahead with planned presidential and parliamentary elections in 2014 and pursue economic and political reforms during his meetings with public and business leaders of Ukraine in Kyiv on 23-26 April.
In course of his visit to Kyiv, Lord Risby met with a number of high-ranking Ukrainian officials, politicians and major businessmen, including the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development Volodymyr Groisman, the Minister of the Economy Pavlo Sheremeta, Member of the Council of the National Bank of Ukraine Yuri Poluneev, and leader of the UDAR political party Vitaly Klitschko to discuss the current political and economic situation in Ukraine.
During these meetings Lord Risby underlined the importance for Ukraine of pursuing tangible economic and structural reforms. “The recent revolution in Ukraine confirmed that its people no longer accept corruption and anti-democratic leadership – they demand changes. And such changes can only be brought by new leaders whose reputation is unblemished by past corrupt and anti-democratic activities”.
Lord Risby also stressed it is important that the new Ukrainian leadership is able to reconcile differences between the East and West of the country. “I believe the current tensions within Ukraine’s society, especially in the East and South of the country, cannot be eased without electing legitimate authorities representing the interests of Ukrainian people from all over the country. Therefore it very important that the presidential elections scheduled for 25 May go ahead as planned, and are also followed by parliamentary elections later in 2014, which in turn would allow the formation of a new government. I am very encouraged by the decentralisation policy under the leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman”, noted the Chairman of the British Ukrainian Society.
Speaking about the current political crisis between Ukraine and Russia, Lord Risby confirmed that the United Kingdom is fully committed to supporting Ukraine and its territorial integrity. “I condemn the unlawful annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, and urge Moscow to refrain from further actions damaging the political and social stability in the country. This is also the view shared by the British government”, stressed Lord Risby.