JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it welcomes the election process that voted in billionaire Petro Poroshenko as Ukraine president.
Poroshenko, a chocolate mogul, was elected with a clear majority Sunday and will replace the interim government that has ruled the country since its revolution in February.
Israel has stayed neutral in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine over Russia’s seizing of the Crimea region from Ukraine following the revolution. But Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told Haaretz that Israel respects the election result.
“Israel welcomes the election process which was conducted in Ukraine in a responsible and democratic manner, in which the president was elected with a majority of votes,” Palmor said, according to Haaretz. “We respect the Ukrainian people’s choice and hope that calm and peace will return to Ukraine soon.”
Palmor added, according to Haaretz, that “Israel remains committed to strengthening its bilateral ties and cooperation with Ukraine, and looks forward to working with its leadership to further promote the relations between our two countries.”
Israeli hospitals have treated dozens of Ukrainians flown to Israel after sustaining injuries in fighting surrounding the revolution.