KIEV, May 27 (Xinhua) -- As the Ukrainians are about to have a new leader who vows to put an end to the prolonged crisis, more violence flared up in the country's eastern regions, denting hope for a quick realization of stability.
On Monday, armed activists in the eastern city of Donetsk clashed with government troops at a local train station and an airport, where gunfire, explosions were heard and fighter jets seen fly over.
The incidents came just one day after the presidential election, casting more shadow over the future of the eastern European country.
Preliminary official results showed independent politician Petro Poroshenko was a comfortable winner, snatching a strong lead with 53.7 percent of the vote. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko conceded defeat with only 13 percent of the vote.
Following the election, Poroshenko, a 48-year-old wealthy businessman dubbed the "chocolate king" unveiled a comprehensive plan for solving the ongoing crisis in the country, which includes provisions to end violence in the eastern regions and harmonize relationship with Russia.
He also vowed to do his best to seek the return of Crimea.
"We have to stop the war and bring peace throughout Ukraine and return the stability to the eastern part of the country," said Poroshenko.
The presidential election took place three months after former President Viktor Yanukovych fled to Russia following months of street protests over his refusal to sign an association agreement with the European Union. Tensions have also been growing in the country's eastern regions, where activists are striving for independence after the absorption of Crimea into Russia.
The Ukrainian election with Poroshenko as the sure winner has drawn worldwide attention.
At a daily press briefing on Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said that China respects the Ukrainian people's choice and hopes relevant sides will continue to push forward the crisis resolution process through political means so as to realize stability and restore order.
While promising to respect the will of Ukrainians in their presidential election, Russia on Monday warned Kiev against resuming military operation in the country's east, which it said would be a "big mistake."
"We are hoping that Petro Poroshenko will do everything to prevent some extremist radial tendencies in Kiev toward the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, or on any other region of this country, from prevailing," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's election has been greeted with applause from the West.
The United States looks forward to working with the next president and the new parliament of Ukraine to support the country's efforts to enact important reforms, U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday.
"This election is another important step forward in the efforts of the Ukrainian government to unify the country and reach out to all of its citizens to ensure their concerns are addressed and aspirations met," Obama said in a statement.
In Paris, French President Francois Hollande said that Poroshenko's win would open a new phase in Ukraine and allow political stability and economic recovery.
He urged the president-elect to carry out national dialogue and implement institutional reforms.
In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the preliminary result of presidential election in Ukraine, and called for further political process to stabilize the situation.
At a press conference, Merkel said the presidential election was the first step for Ukraine, and should lead to a constitutional process and parliament elections.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen commended the considerable efforts of the Ukrainian authorities to organize the election throughout the country, saying the alliance will continue to support efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis.
Ukraine agrees to pay gas debt to Russia
BERLIN, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine agreed to start in this week paying a gas debt it owed Russia, in a bid to resolve a gas supply dispute between the two countries, said European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger in Berlin on Monday.
Ukraine agreed to pay 2 billion U.S. dollars back to Russia by Thursday for the gas delivered since July last year, said Oettinger in a press conference started nearly one and half hours later than scheduled, following a meeting with Ukraine Energy Minister Yuri Prodan and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak. Full story
Russia says to respect will of Ukrainians, warns Kiev against military operation
MOSCOW, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Russia said Monday it would respect the will of Ukrainians in their presidential election, but warned Kiev against resuming a military operation in the country's southeastern regions.
"The fact that the vote was organized in many regions of Ukraine could probably be regarded as a generally positive fact. As the president (Vladimir Putin) has said, we will respect the will expressed by the Ukrainian people," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters. Full story