Experts: Viktor Yanukovych to preserve balance between Kremlin, West and Tbilisi

Politics Materials 10 February 2010 18:52 (UTC +04:00)
Viktor Yanukovych, who won the presidential elections in Ukraine will maintain smooth relations with Georgia and the balance between the Kremlin and the West, experts said.
Experts: Viktor Yanukovych to preserve balance between Kremlin, West and Tbilisi

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 10 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /

Viktor Yanukovych, who won the presidential elections in Ukraine will maintain smooth relations with Georgia and the balance between the Kremlin and the West, experts said.

"It is clear that Yanukovych will not take a radically pro-Russian or pro-Western stance," the Kiev Center for Political and Conflict Studies Director Mikhail Pogrebinsky said.

The CEC has considered 99.99 percent of electronic protocols of precinct election commissions. The Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych was supported by 48.95 percent of voters in the second round but Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko - 45.47 percent. About 4,. 6 percent of voters did not support any candidate.

According to the Ukrainian laws, official results of the second round of the presidential elections must be announced till February 17. The new president must take office during a month.

Member of the parliamentary majority Giorgi Kandelaki thinks that victory of any candidates in the presidential elections will not change the pro-Western course of Ukraine.

Kandelaki told journalists, commenting on the results of the second round in Ukraine, that according to his data both candidates stand for Ukraine's membership in the EU.

"This should be the starting point of our relations with Ukraine in future", he said.

He stressed that "both candidates and Ukraine's people want to deepen pro-Western course, and this is important.

The leader of the parliamentary minority Giorgi Targamadze is sure that any of the candidates for president will continue the political course of Ukraine, oriented to the West after the victory in the elections. "Whatever the result of the election would be, Georgia must respect the choice of the Ukrainian people, especially if it is recognized by the international observers," Targamadze said.

He also expressed doubt that in case of Yanukovych's victory, Ukraine will take a course on Russia.

According to observers, indeed, Yanukovych will try to maintain a multi-vector policy.

Adrian Karatnitsky, expert of the Atlantic Council of the USA thinks that because of the small gap between Yanukovych and Tymoshenko, leader of the Party of Regions will be forced to adhere to multi-vector policy, analytic center Expert said.

The expert stressed that there is no trend to a sharp change of Kiev towards the Kremlin.

After several failures Yanukovych felt a certain disrespect from Russian leaders.

Regarding with foreign policy, it will become less ideological and more pragmatic. There will be more direct economic profit, aimed at the Ukrainian industry, business, infrastructure, Pogrebinsky said.

"We can expect more persistent attempts to solve the issue of free trade zone with Europe" Pogrebinsky told Trend over phone from Kiev.

Georgian expert Nick Chitidze thinks that the opinion if Viktor Yanukovych wins the presidential election in Ukraine, he will elect a pro-Russian course is wrong. According to him, there will not be any simple pro-Russian policy in Ukraine. "Ukraine is large. Yanukovych will conduct his own policy", the expert said.

Viktor Yanukovych is not pro-Russian candidate for president, political scientist Sergey Markov said, Forum.ua. reported.

"Yanukovych is not pro-Russian candidate, as many people say. He is Ukrainian candidate who represents the interests of big Ukrainian business. If Yanukovych becomes president, we will have to deal very difficult negotiations with him", Markov said.

As to relationship with Georgia if Yanukovych wins, a political scientist said that Yanukovych will cooperate with Saakashvili, but these relations will be cool, because he tripped him up in the first round.

However, Georgian expert Gia Khukhashvili is confident that Georgia and Ukraine will not be a strategic pair.

He said elections in Ukraine have changed much the political life of Ukraine and the relations of Kiev and Tbilisi.

"The theme of NATO will be closed within many years. But the pace of its entry into the EU and European institutions will change," expert told Trend . For this reason, Georgia and Ukraine is not regarded as a strategic pair in this direction, Khukhashvili said.

According to Ukrainian MP Olesya Doniya, Ukraine's relations with its neighbors must not depend on the change of leadership.

"Ukraine's ties with the Caucasus states are strong and will remain the same in future," Doniya told Trend over phone from Kiev.

According to Doniya, there is a factor of Russia's presence in the relationship and it can not be discounted, because this factor is fundamental, even in bilateral relations between the former republics of the USSR.

"Even if there is coolness in relations at the level of heads of state, the economic and humanitarian relations between countries, between Ukraine and Georgia in particular, will not be affected after the change of leadership," he said.