Photo from UNIAN

U.S. Department of State Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, Ambassador Kurt Volker, expressed hope that Russia would finally decide to stop the war in Donbas no matter who wins the presidential and parliamentary elections this year.

"Ukraine is a democracy," Volker noted, speaking at a phone briefing from Brussels on Thursday, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

He added that, like in any democracy, "we don't know who's going to win until the election takes place."

"In this case, we really don't know who the winner will be," the Ambassador noted. "If you look at the polling data coming out of Ukraine, there is no candidate that is polling above the high teens."

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"Again, stressing that Ukraine is a democracy, we will work with whatever democratically-elected leader emerges after the election," Volker said.

He added that the United States continues to support Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity, as well as safety and security for all Ukrainian citizens "regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or religion."

"I hope that no matter who is elected as president of Ukraine and also no matter how the parliamentary elections come out later in the year that Russia decides finally that it's trying to end the war and bring about peace," the U.S. Special Representative said, noting that Washington is "committed to doing everything that we can to facilitate it as well," adding that he means further talks and development of any peacekeeping and security forces that would be needed to keep civilians safe.