|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Ukraine Election Result Sets Back British Geopolitics
Feb. 15 (EIRNS)One week after the run-off in Ukraine's Presidential election, the country's Central Electoral Commission yesterday certified the victory of Party of Regions leader Victor Yanukovych over Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko, by 887,909 votes (48.95% to 45.47%). Thus, one of the George Soros-financed 2004 Orange Revolution figures, President Victor Yushchenko, was eliminated in the first round, and his former ally, Tymoshenko, in the second. It was Yanukovych's victory in 2004 which was overturned by the Orange coup. (Supporters of Tymoshenko, who earlier had said that even a "10-vote margin of victory" would be a clear victory, announced Feb. 15 they would attempt to challenge the election result in court, but the bid was dropped later in the week.)
The election of Yanukovych is already affecting Ukraine's relations with Russia, reducing the capability, which London geopolitical strategists have often bragged about and frequently used, of exploiting every conceivable tension between the two countries.
Speaking on Feb. 14, Yanukovych confirmed that he will not pursue Yushchenko's plan of taking Ukraine into NATO. "Ukraine's joining NATO is not on the agenda today," said Yanukovych. "Ukraine is interested in taking part in the project for a European collective security system, supporting the initiative of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev for that, as President Nicholas Sarkozy has supported it." In an interview the previous day, Yanukovych said that he is open to talks with Moscow on Russia's Black Sea Fleet continuing to use its base in Sevastopol, Crimean Peninsula, after the current lease expires in 2017.
The prominent Ukrainian weekly Zerkalo nedeli of Feb. 13-19 carried a major article on the prospects for revival of Ukraine's nuclear industry, including through purchase of reactors from Russia. This would bring a different dimension to Russia-Ukraine energy relations, as against the natural gas price wars of recent years. Last week, Yanukovych announced, "I now want to discuss with Russia, moving ahead to build another three nuclear power units in a partnership arrangement."