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Poroshenko outlines plan for solving Ukrainian crisis

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

KIEV, May 26 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian businessman and presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko, who took a strong lead in the recent elections, on Monday outlined a comprehensive plan for solving the prolonged crisis in Ukraine.

The plan, unveiled by Poroshenko during a briefing here, includes provisions to end violence in the eastern regions, harmonize relationship with Russia, forge ties with the European Union (EU), and resolve the dispute over the status of the Crimean peninsula.

The 48-year-old Poroshenko said that establishing a dialogue with the protesters in the east was the top priority for him.

Declaring that his first trip would be to the eastern part of the country, Poroshenko pledged to "change the format" of the government's "anti-terror" operation and grant the Russian language the status of the official language in the region in line with the protesters' demands.

The Ukrainian election frontrunner also voiced his hope to meet the Russian leadership in the first half of June to discuss a solution to the crisis in his country, saying that Moscow's assistance on this issue was crucial for Kiev.

"We have to stop the war and bring peace throughout Ukraine and return the stability to the eastern part of the country. It is impossible to do without Russian assistance," Poroshenko told reporters.

Meanwhile, he reiterated Ukraine's commitment to following the course for integration with the EU, saying that he was planning to hold talks with European officials in early June.

Speaking of the referendum in Crimea, which resulted in the peninsula's affiliation with Russia, Poroshenko emphasized that he will never recognize the vote and said he "would do his best to seek the return of Crimea".

In his speech, Poroshenko also pledged to attach great importance to the fight against corruption and development of Ukrainian energy independence during his presidency.

Earlier in the day, Poroshenko voiced the intent to hold early parliamentary elections and keep Arseny Yatsenyuk on the post of the country's prime minister.

Preliminary official results put Poroshenko clearly in front in Ukraine's presidential elections, with 60 percent of the vote counted, authorities said on Monday.

Poroshenko has won 53.72 percent of the vote, followed by ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko with 13.09 percent and Oleh Lyashko, 8.47 percent, according to the Central Electoral Commission.

An observer mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Ukraine's presidential election was held in line with international standards.

"These elections confirmed the democratic course of the Ukrainian people," Joao Soares, coordinator for the OSCE mission, told a press conference.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/140526/poroshenko-outlines-plan-solving-ukrainian-crisis