Merkel congratulates Ukraine's president-elect
27 May 2014, 18:49
Berlin - German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko by phone on Tuesday and said the country's weekend vote clearly showed Ukrainians wanted unity, democracy and peace, her spokesperson said.
As well as the billionaire oligarch Poroshenko, who has been formally declared the winner of Sunday's presidential election with 54% of the vote, Merkel congratulated the Ukrainian voters.
"Voter participation and the clear vote result are a clear commitment by the Ukrainian people to unity and democracy, as well as a peaceful solution of the current conflict," Steffen Seibert said in a statement.
Merkel in particular paid tribute to people who turned out to vote in the rebel-held east of the country "despite harassment and intimidation", saying it was a "sign of hope".
Merkel and Poroshenko agreed that it was now urgent to "continue the path of internal reconciliation", including national dialogue and reform of the constitution, Seibert added.
The chancellor is due to meet Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk as well as his counterparts from Georgia and Moldova in Berlin on Wednesday.