Canada Commends Resilience of Ukrainians on Eve of Presidential Poll

May 24, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today released the following statement:

“Tomorrow, the people of Ukraine will exercise one of the most fundamental rights of a democracy, when they head to the polls to elect a new president.

“Ukraine’s story over the past several months has been remarkable. It is one in which the people of Ukraine endured the harsh repression of the corrupt and corrosive Yanukovych government, during its waning days of illegitimate rule. Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians stood up to threats, intimidation, kidnappings and violent crackdowns. Many lost their lives.

“Ukrainians then faced, and still face today, the challenge of aggression from abroad, as Russian forces invaded and then illegally occupied the Crimean peninsula.

“Even on the eve of this election, Russian-sponsored militants seek to disrupt the democratic franchise in parts of eastern Ukraine. They will not succeed.

“By casting their votes tomorrow, millions of Ukrainians from all walks of life will demonstrate their commitment to a free, sovereign and democratic future. This is a vision of Ukraine’s future that Canada shares.

“On behalf of all Canadians, I extend our best wishes to the presidential candidates, to Ukraine’s brave and dedicated election workers, and to local and international election observers—many Canadians among them—who are helping to ensure that these elections are free and fair.”

For updates on Ukraine’s election from the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv, follow @CanEmbUkraine on Twitter.

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