A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

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Monday, November 22, 2004

Yushchenko on track

It looks like reformer and pro-west candidate Viktor Yushchenko is going to win Ukraine's presidential run-off election.

Moscow has made it clear it favors current Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.

And some polls are showing him in the lead.

Ukraine needs to join the fold of Cenral and Eastern European (CEE) countries that are turning more and more toward western reform. A victory for Yanukovych is a step closer to Russia, and a step backwards.

A win for Yushchenko would do a lot for the CEE's image, as well as show that a drive for reform and democracy has firmly taken root in the region. It would also be a political victory for Poland, as it would allow the government to begin working at closer ties with Ukraine. Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski has made it clear that he hopes to bring Ukraine closer to NATO and to support Ukraine's membership for the European Union. Poland imports millions of złoty worth of goods and materials from Ukraine, making tighter border controls and higher tariffs since Poland's entrance into the European Union last May very inconvenient.

The leaders of both Poland and the US have demanded a free and fair election.


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