The UK sent 71 observers to observe the parliamentary elections in Ukraine on 26 October as part of an Organisation for Security and Co-oporation in Europe delegation of 680 international observers. The Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe also sent a delegation of 36 which was led by my Hon. Friend the Member for Christchurch (Mr Chope) and included my Hon. Friend the Member for North Thanet (Sir Roger Gale) and my Noble Friend the Lord Balfe. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), issued a statement on 24 October in which he commended all those working to ensure a free, fair and peaceful vote. The UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN also issued a statement which called on the elections to go ahead without external interference and pressed the Ukrainian authorities to take steps to ensure that as many Ukrainian citizens as possible could exercise their right to vote. On 27 October the Prime Minister, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron), said he was proud that the UK had been able to support Ukraine in helping to make the elections free, fair and transparent and called upon Russia to respect the outcome as part of its commitment to the Minsk agreement.