The European Parliament has issued a resolution on the parliamentary elections in Ukraine, according to a press-release, received by UNIAN from the EP. The resolution reads as follows:

      The European Parliament,

      -having regard to its previous resolutions on the political developments in Ukraine, in particular its resolution of 13 January 2005,

      -having regard to its resolution on the European Neighbourhood Policy adopted on 19 January 2006,

      -having regard to the Action Plan for Ukraine and the further measures decided by the Council in support of a democratic and reform-oriented Ukraine,

      -having regard to the OSCE preliminary statement on the Ukrainian elections of 27 March 2006,

      -having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

      A. whereas Ukraine has clearly confirmed its desire to be part of Europe and its willingness to be integrated with the European Union on the basis of the EU’s fundamental principles and criteria,

      B. whereas the International Election Observers Mission of the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, of OSCE, and of NATO and OSCE/ODIHR concluded that the 26 March 2006 parliamentary elections in Ukraine had been free and fair and in accordance with international standards for democratic elections,

      C. whereas the media coverage during the campaign was generally balanced enabling parties to communicate their message and voters to express freely their choice,

      D. whereas it was concluded that the elections were administered in a democratic and transparent manner with virtually no incidents, although problems in staffing polling stations and an excessive number of voters in some polling stations caused a certain degree of disorder on election day,

      E. whereas the European Union, its Member States, and Ukraine have moved towards an ever closer relationship based on the mutual respect of fundamental European values,

      Welcomes the fact that the parliamentary and local elections of 26 March 2006 were held in a satisfactory manner fully in accordance with international electoral standards and that Ukraine is firmly on the path towards becoming a mature democracy and the assumption of its rightful place in the European community of democratic nations,

      Takes note of the shortcomings of the elections identified by the Election Observation Mission and calls upon the relevant Ukrainian authorities to take corrective action and to ensure that such problems will not re-emerge in future elections,

      Congratulates the people of Ukraine who have despite the sometimes difficult circumstances in the polling stations -demonstrated their commitment to the democratic process in their country,

      Urges all members of the newly elected Verkhovna Rada as well as the new Ukrainian Government to fully commit themselves to the irreversibility of this democratic process and to continue and strengthen without hesitation the political, social and economic reforms,

      Urges the Commission and Council to respond promptly and concretely to the growing hopes of the Ukrainian people increasingly looking to the EU and to consider a further strengthening of the measures included in the European Neighborhood Policy`s Action Plan aimed to support the further democratic development of Ukraine,in particular with regard to a strengthening of the respect for the rule of law, and the continuation and strengthening of social and economic reforms; also urges the member states to undertake similar initiatives and concrete support projects which contribute to a continuation of the democratisation and reform process in Ukraine,

      Calls upon the new government formed after these elections, to consolidate Ukraine’s espousal of common European values and objectives by taking further steps to promote democracy, human rights, civil society and the rule of law, by resuming market reforms and by overcoming the political divisions in Ukraine;

      Urges the new Ukrainian government to continue to be a reliable partner of the European Union, with a specific regard to enhancing stability in the region, in particular in finding a solution to the Transnistria problem,

      Appeals to all neighbouring countries to fully respect the democratic choice of the Ukrainian people and to refrain from any economic or other pressure to change the democratically decided further political, social and economic development of the country;

      Looks forward to a visa-facilitation agreement between the EU and Ukraine with a final goal of a non-visa regime but in the interim for the Commission to fully respect the existing agreements for free multiple entry visas with seven member states, as well as other actions towards Ukraine`s European perspective; calls for further action towards moving Ukraine towards full World Trade Organisation membership,

      Notes that the current Partnership and Co-operation Agreement expires in 2008, and calls on the Commission to begin to negotiate an Association Agreement between the European Communities and Ukraine,

      Looks forward to increase co-operation with the Verkhovna Rada and to a sustained transition process in Ukraine that will bring the country further towards the objective an ever more intensive co-operation with the European Union, and commits itself to assisting and supporting Ukraine in this process,

      Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the Parliament and the Government of Ukraine and to the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, of OSCE, and of NATO.