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Mixed opinions on Victor Yanukovich's foreign policies

2010-02-09 15:21 BJT

The apparent victory of Victor Yanukovich has drawn mixed opinions on his future foreign policies. The pro-Russian winner will open a new chapter in the country's political history.

Sitting in the heartland of Eurasia, Ukraine is of strategic importance to both Russia and the US.

Some analysts say the new leader should try to improve ties with Russia, shaking up its geopolitical power game with the US.

Vladimir Koroilov, head of Ukraine Branch, CIS Institute, said, "The overwhelming majority of the population in western Ukraine, according to all the public opinion surveys by various companies, believe it is the top priority of the Ukrainian leadership's foreign policy to improve relations with Russia that have worsened over the past years."

Dmytro Korchinski, leader of Ukrainian People's Self Defense, said, "We expect Yanukovich to go back on his promises of closer ties with Russia and the introduction of Russian language as the second language. But if he doesn't, this will lead to the mobilization of the nationalist elements in society. I think this is not bad because nationalism here should turn from going through the motions to real actions in the future."

Many others say the new government will want to maintain smooth relations with the US, which played a major role in helping Ukraine secure loans during the economic crisis.

Mikhail Pohrebinsky, director of Kiev center for political studies, said, "For us it is very important to continue cooperation with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. We badly need investment and in order to gain more legitimacy and improve his reputation in dealing with Europe, Yanukovich will not clearly steer a course towards Russia."

If elected, 59 year-old Yanukovich will become the country's fourth president since it gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Editor: Zhang Ning | Source: