BERLIN, October 27 (RIA Novosti) — Germany does not see Ukraine joining the European Union any time soon despite the strong backing its people gave to pro-Western parties in Sunday's parliamentary elections, a German government spokesman said Monday.
"We highly welcome the Ukrainian election, but it will not sway our opinion on [Ukraine's] EU membership. Our position remains unchanged," State Secretary Steffen Seibert told journalists.
On Sunday, Ukraine voted in a snap parliamentary election, with early results putting parties of President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk in the lead, each with more than 21 percent of the vote. Both parties have been vocally pro-European.
Poroshenko said earlier he considered Yatsenyuk's party a strong partner candidate for the creation of a parliamentary coalition. The president also said his 'Strategy-2020' plan will help implement reforms and special programs that will make Ukraine eligible for EU membership within six years.
In June, Ukraine signed an association agreement with the European Union, which envisages the establishment of a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the eurozone.
Seibert said the German government welcomed the success of parties supporting Ukraine's closer ties with the 28-member bloc. He said the elections proceeded calmly and were free.
"This result is an important proof of the trust in President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk. Ukrainian citizens explicitly voted for a new beginning without extremist or populist presence in the government … We'd like to congratulate Ukrainian voters on their courageous choice," Seibert said.
Authorities in Ukraine's Donbas area, which comprises parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, said they will hold a separate election on November 2. According to Ukraine's Central Election Commission, the provinces showed the lowest turnout in the country during the October 26 voting.
"Unfortunately, the vote did not take place in every part of the country's east, people in some eastern regions could not exercise their democratic right," Seibert noted, adding Russia should continue "contributing constructively" to the peace process.
The German spokesman said that a new parliament "could become an important step toward stabilization" in Ukraine.
A military confrontation in Ukraine's southeast flared up in mid-April, when the Kiev government sent troops to suppress those who refused to recognize the new leadership that came to power after a coup in February.