19 Feb 2019 16:35

European Council's Tusk warns Ukrainian politicians against enmity during elections campaign

KYIV. Feb 19 (Interfax) - European Council President Donald Tusk has warned Ukrainian politicians against excessively bitter confrontation in the upcoming presidential elections among the five recommendations he aired at the Verkhovna Rada.

"Don't do each other too much harm in the upcoming elections. Your history, just like my [Polish] people's history, shows that domestic conflicts in our two countries are the best gift for a third party," Tusk said in his speech in the Ukrainian language on Tuesday.

Some forces in Europe would like to disrupt solidarity between the European Union and Ukraine, he said.

"Also remember that your opponents in Europe wait for any opportunity to disrupt the current solidarity between Brussels and Kyiv. And a bitter conflict among you could turn out to be exactly such an opportunity," he said.

Presidential elections in Ukraine are scheduled for March 31. The Central Elections Commission has registered 44 presidential candidates.

Among the five recommendations for Ukrainian politicians, Tusk also warned them against the temptation to use methods of radical nationalism and populism.

"If we yield to recurrences of chauvinism in Europe and in Ukraine, we will inevitably get involved in conflicts, and egoism and indifference will destroy our political community," he said.

Tusk called for solidarity instead of egoism and historical truth instead of propaganda.

"The danger of temptation of radical populism is born together with weakness, while Ukrainians have every reason to feel proud and strong," he said.

Ukrainians should defend fundamental values and not slip into authoritarianism, he said.

"Build a good-faith state together," Tusk said, adding that honesty and integrity of the administration are essential not because this is the European Union's requirement but because the people want this.

"Don't stop positive changes even if they are painful," he said.

"The fifth and the last recommendation: believe in your youth," Tusk said in addressing Ukrainian politicians.