Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Great Background on Ukrainian Elections

This article paints a pretty rosy picture for the future of the Ukraine and its east-west relations.

...Yanukovych also supports, more cautiously, joining the EU: "Ukraine will move into the EU slowly." Explains Sergei Tigipko, Yanukovych's campaign manager and former governor of the National Bank, "We need to carefully negotiate favorable terms for Ukraine."

He says ties with Russia "do not prevent Ukraine from getting integrated into the World Trade Organization and the EU." Adds Tigipko: "The only pragmatic course is one that looks both east and west."

Rostyslav Khotin, editor of the Ukrainian section of the British Broadcasting Corp., sees the issue as one of timing: "There is a consensus amongst the Ukrainian ruling elite that Ukraine must be in the EU and NATO." If Yanukovych "wins, the delay may be three or four years."

... and that's the opponent of the former prime minister, who has been accused of being a US pawn. Sounds like a pretty pragamatic and reasonable approach as far as I'm concerned. I wish Belarus had this kind of free and fair elections with candidates espousing such reasonable viewpoints.

I wonder how long before years of anti-US propaganda ceases to make America a central issue in the political scene of the former Soviet states?


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