EU calls on Ukraine to review election; Kiev rejects results
The European Union said on Monday that Ukraine's presidential election did not meet international standards and it will urge the Ukrainian authorities to review its conduct and result.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot said each of the bloc's 25 members states would summon the Ukrainian ambassador to express concern about the outcome, which appears to have given victory to pro-Russian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych over pro-Western liberal opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko.
"All EU member states are going to invite the Ukrainian ambassadors to convey our feelings that in our view the second round does not comply with international standards," Bot said.
"We are very concerned about the news we have had about the outcome," he told a news conference after EU foreign ministers discussed the situation in the bloc's new eastern neighbour. The Netherlands holds the EU's rotating presidency.
A number of Ukrainian city councils, including the capital, Kiev, as well as Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk, have rejected the results. The city council of Kiev called on the country's parliament not to recognize the results of the presidential elections.
Yushchenko called on his supporters to demonstrate across the country against what he called mass electoral fraud as the official tally showed Yanukovych with an almost unassailable three percentage point lead.
"We have also decided that the EU presidency, together with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, will discuss further steps with the Ukrainian authorities because we call on them to review, together with the OSCE, the electoral process and its results," Bot said.
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