On Sunday, October 26, Ukraine will hold its first Rada (parliamentary) elections since the historic Maidan protest movement led to former President Yanukovych abandoning his office in February, paving the way for a new, democratically elected government.

The United States supports the Ukrainian people’s desire for real change and for an accountable and transparent government that can enact critical reforms to continue the fight against corruption, modernize the economy, and transform Ukraine into a modern European state. The Ukrainian people demand and deserve this future. These elections are a critical step toward achieving that goal.

To date, the Ukrainian Central Election Commission has registered hundreds of international election monitors, including election monitors from the U.S., as well as thousands of domestic monitors from 37 domestic monitoring organizations. These monitors can help Ukrainians ensure that their elections meet international standards, just as similar monitoring missions did with the Ukrainian presidential election in May.

Speaking in Berlin October 22, Secretary Kerry said, “We want to see a respected Ukraine that is independent and sovereign. We would like to see a Ukraine that could even serve as a bridge between Russia and Europe, and this could become not a competition against each other but a competition together to see who can do a better job of developing their economies, of trading, of building stability and of meeting the threat of extremism and radical religious extremism that threatens everybody.”

For more information, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is tracking the work of election monitors, and the Central Election Commission is the official site for the Ukrainian elections. The Ukrainian civil network OPORA and the nongovernmental organization Committee of Voters in Ukraine also will be monitoring the October 26 vote.