Parliamentary elections held in Ukraine over the weekend open "new opportunities" for Kiev's relations with the European Union, the bloc's external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Monday, informed referring to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

"The democratic conduct of yesterday’s poll and of the pre- electoral campaign is further proof of the consolidation of democratic standards in Ukraine since the Orange revolution," Ferrero-Waldner said in a statement.

Ukraine had fulfilled a key political priority of its political program with the EU, she added, underlining that this will open new opportunities for Ukraine in its relationship with the bloc.

Kiev is part of the EU's so-called "neighbourhood policy" aimed at forging stronger ties with countries on the bloc's borders. Ukraine, however, is also demanding EU membership but officials in Brussels say this is not on the cards.

Ferrero-Waldner also said she was confident that the new government will continue work on reforms. "This is vital for the Ukrainian people as well as for the future of our relationship," she said.

A repeat of Ukraine's Orange coalition appeared increasingly probable in the wake of the country's parliamentary elections, with Julia Timoshenko, who was fired as Ukraine's prime minister by President Viktor Yushchenko six months ago, returning to power in coalition with the smaller Socialist Party.

This would leave out the pro-Russian Regions Ukraine party, led by former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich who won 32 per cent of the vote.


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