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BERLIN May 26 Chancellor Angela Merkel on
Monday welcomed the preliminary results in Ukraine's election
showing Petro Poroshenko could win enough support to avert a
run-off election, though she said that could only be confirmed
when full results are in.
"We can only comment on the result when we have the final
result of the election," Merkel said. "But if there is a
decision for Mr. Poroshenko in the first round that would
certainly be good news."
Merkel added she did not want to anticipate the results of
the full count. Preliminary results show Poroshenko winning 53.7
percent of the vote and far ahead in a field of 21 candidates.
Merkel said she hoped that first step would lead to a
constitutional process in Ukraine and parliamentary elections.
She vowed Germany would help accompany that if desired and hoped
the European Union can help resolve a gas dispute between
Russia and Ukraine this week.
"The talks about gas prices (for Ukraine) are very important
for us," said Merkel. "I hope it will be possible to get an
agreement this week. It's very, very important."
(Reporting Stephen Brown and Noah Barkin, writing by Erik