European High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has welcomed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's readiness to improve Ukraine's electoral legislation, the press office of the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine has reported.

"Changes to the electoral framework shortly before the launching of an electoral process do not allow for a proper preparation of the process and run contrary to international norms and best practice," reads a press release.

Ashton expressed concern about reports from a number of election observer missions of irregularities during the local elections that were held on October 31.

"These [irregularities] derive primarily from the electoral framework and the administration of the elections. They undermine public confidence in the electoral process and in the further consolidation of democracy in Ukraine," reads the statement.

The EU remains ready to support Ukraine in the implementation of key democratic reforms and recalls its support for a project aimed at drafting an Electoral Code, with the technical expertise of the OSCE, in line with European standards.

As earlier reported, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, at the order of President Viktor Yanukovych, invited U.S. and European experts to join efforts to develop and improve the Ukrainian legal framework as part of a working group on the improvement of the electoral legislation, which was created under a presidential decree of November 2, 2010.

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