By AJC, Special for USDR.
AJC welcomed today’s presidential vote in Ukraine as a decisive victory for Petro Poroshenko and for the resilience of Ukrainian democracy.
“Mr. Poroshenko won an impressive mandate, with no need for a run-off,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “And the Ukrainian people showed their determination to ensure that the country’s fate is determined within its borders, not beyond. Bravo! President-elect Poroshenko will have more than his share of challenges going forward, both domestic and external, but this vote, we earnestly hope, represents a new beginning for a nation that deserves a bright – and independent – future.”
An AJC delegation met Mr. Poroshenko most recently in Kiev in April, shortly after his visit to Israel, where he saw PresidentShimon Peres and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. He voiced appreciation for Israel’s willingness to provide top-flight medical care to several of the protesters wounded during the protest demonstrations in Maidan, the central square in Kiev, against President Viktor Yanukovich’s corrupt rule.
AJC has had a deep history of involvement with Ukraine since 1991, when it was the first Jewish group to call on U.S. PresidentGeorge H.W. Bush to recognize the rebirth of Ukrainian independence, which Washington eventually did.
More recently, AJC has stood firm in support of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and right to chart its own democratic destiny. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was a featured speaker, via video from Kiev, at the AJC Global Forum earlier this month. And the agency last week sent Sam Kliger, who was born in the Soviet Union and spent many years as a “refusenik” seeking the right to emigrate, to Kiev as its temporary representative there. He has been in close touch with the large Jewish community, government officials, and key diplomats. Dr. Kliger served as an election observer today and was a frequent guest in the media on the conduct of the elections.