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Foreign Policy Research Institute

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The European Union commended the victory of Zelensky

On April 22, the head of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and President Donald Tusk congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his victory in the presidential election, stating that he can rely on the EU's strong support for Ukraine on the path of reforms and in the struggle for its integrity. On Monday morning, Jean-Claude Juncker posted on his Twitter shared with Tusk a letter in which he congratulated Zelensky and noted that the people of Ukraine have demonstrated a strong commitment to democracy and the rule of law throughout the electoral process. "As a President of Ukraine, you can count on strong support from the European Union for Ukraine's reforms, including strengthening the rule of law, fight against corruption, supporting macroeconomic stability, and implementing significant reforms in the energy sector" stated in the letter.

The EU firmly believes a key instrument for Ukraine's reform can be the further implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including the deep and comprehensive free trade area. You can also count on continued and sustained support for Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity", stated in the letter.

Juncker and Tusk added that the EU sincerely wishes the newly elected President of Ukraine a successful term, and expects a meeting scheduled for a "mutually agreed date as soon as possible". Earlier, after the announcement of the results of the exit poll the President of the United States Donald Trump called the Volodymyr Zelensky. Volodymyr Zelensky also talked with President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron. The first one was his telephone conversation with Polish President Andrzej Duda.[1]

The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn, also congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his victory in the presidential elections in Ukraine and called for further reforms and the fight against corruption. He wrote about it on Twitter. "I congratulate the Ukrainian people on the demonstration of democratic maturity, and the elected President, Volodymyr Zelensky on his victory. This result gives a powerful mandate for a more vigorous fight against corruption and the liberation of the state from oligarchic control," the statement said. According to the European Commissioner, the reform process and the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement should continue, so that the Ukrainian people could take full advantage of their benefits.[2]

The European Parliament supports the future President on the path of reforms, especially in the fight against corruption. This was stated by the representative of observers from the European Parliament in the presidential elections in Ukraine, Rebecca Garms, reports "European truth" with reference to "Interfax-Ukraine". "The European Parliament supports the future President in continuing and strengthening reforms, especially in the fight against corruption and poverty," Garms said. She added that the President can also fully count on the support of the European Union. "We believe that the new President is fully aware of his duties," the MEP noted. Garms noted that the agenda of reforms should continue in cooperation with other state institutions, in particular with the Verkhovna Rada.

Lithuanian President, Dalia Grybauskaite, on Monday also congratulated Volodymyr Zelensky on his victory in the presidential election of Ukraine. This is reported by "European truth" with reference to the statement of the President of Lithuania. "The high trust expressed by the citizens of Ukraine is an important duty to responsibly strengthen the well-being of the country and all its inhabitants and unite the state, uniting the inhabitants of Ukraine by ensuring peace, security and independence of the country," the statement said. According to Grybauskaite, recently Ukraine and its residents have experienced a lot of challenges, but at the same time they showed great readiness, self-sacrifice and fortitude, protecting their country and its freedom, working for a strong and European state. The President of Lithuania claims that Lithuania and its citizens will always be loyal allies of the residents of Ukraine, supporting the further development of Ukraine's comprehensive ties with Europe and the transatlantic community. Grybauskaite wished the winner of the elections in Ukraine all the best in the performance of important duties and work for the benefit of the Ukrainian people, and for all Ukrainians - strength, unity, peace and prosperity. [3]

What is the West waiting for? Of course, we should not consider Western partners naive. Of course, they were well aware of the complexity of the elections; understanding that 73% of citizens voted not so much for a leader as against his opponent. Also, Western capitals are aware of the risks posed by the change of power in Ukraine. Even despite the fact that Zelensky met with Western politicians and journalists incomparably more often than with Ukrainian – he still remains terra incognita for the world. So that West can assume, foresee his actions and policy on the post of President – but can not be sure of the correctness of their forecasts.

The definition of those who will be engaged in the foreign policy of the future President will give a certain clarity. According to the "European truth", the ZeTeam has an understanding that it is necessary to entrust not "new politicians", but to career diplomats. This is what Western partners are waiting for. Now in the headquarters of Zelensky already appeared international relations specialists, which was so lacking at the beginning of the campaign (and those names that have been heard, add optimism). At the same time, a decision on the probable distribution of posts has not yet been taken. And now, before the formation of a full-fledged "international bloc", ZeTeam has the opportunity to hear what is heard from international partners and analysts.[4]

Thus, the European Union did not stay too long with the congratulations to the newly elected President of Ukraine and showed that EU respects the choice of Ukrainians and, as always, remains and will remain adamant in its support. After all, numerous congratulations from the EU countries turned out to be an indicator that constant cooperation and integration of Ukraine into the EU will certainly continue.