Ukraine EU Future In Doubt As Pro-Russia Leader Takes Over

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine president Viktor Yushchenko has nominated his pro-Russian arch-rival Viktor Yanukovych as PM, in a move that could cause problems for the country's pro-EU and NATO orientation in the coming years.

"A pact is to be signed that will determine the main lines of Ukraine's domestic and foreign policy, in which the western course is guaranteed," Mr Yushchenko said while announcing his decision at 02:00 local time on Thursday 3 August, the BBC reports.

Ukraine's parliament - the Verkhovna Rada - will vote on the appointment later today with a new cabinet likely to be named before the weekend, comprising members from Mr Yanukovych and Mr Yushchenko's political parties.

The appointment marks a historic reversal for the Orange Revolution movement that took power in November 2004 after Mr Yanukovych won presidential elections amid widespread accusations of vote-rigging.

Mr Yanukovych - whose supporters carry blue flags and have camped out in front of parliament for the past few weeks - is popular in the Russian-speaking southeast of the country and won "free and fair" parliamentary elections on 26 March.

Ukrainian diplomats in Brussels have given reassurances that Ukraine will stay on the path of EU integration no matter who becomes prime minister during the coalition-forming wranglings of the past four months.

But some analysts - such as the Georgian ambassador to the EU Salome Samadashvili - believe Brussels should be worried by the advent of Yanukovych, who built his campaign around anti-NATO sentiment with anti-EU undertones.

"If the government changes, the Ukrainian embassy [in Brussels] could soon begin receiving different instructions," Ms Samadashvili said two weeks ago.

Polish president Lech Kaczynski remained optimistic however, reacting to the events by saying "Ukrainian democracy is relatively young and the situation is our opinion, Ukraine's pro-western course won't alter."

The Yanukovych deal could improve Kiev's relations with Moscow at a time when the country's Russian gas price arrangements remain up in the air, with the financial markets reacting calmly to the news.

The move leaves Orange Revolution heroine Yulia Tymoshenko - who had called for parliament to be dissolved and for a fresh round of elections - out in the cold.

Source: EU Observer


Jerry Kocijchenko said…
I cannot believe what has just happened in Ukraine today-a Communist gang leader has become prime minister. Even the Mafia in Italy never attained such lofty status. So now the situation is as such-Yanoukovych and his crowd were sabotaging Ukrainian democracy from the outside and now that they have attained power will continue to sabotage democracy from within. The Orange Revolution has turned into the Yellow Revolution. Things change but things never change. Yanoukovych says he accepts the western leaning policy of the current administration as part of the deal. Sure he does, just like George Bush said there was WMD in Iraq. What a goddam mess Ukraine is today. Putin is extremely happy over this, but the long suffering people of Ukraine will have to suffer more. When will they ever learn? Why hitch your wagon to Russia-a country that massacred our people during the Great Famine and gave us Chernobyl. I do not understand and today I have to say-sadly I might add-I am ashamed to consider myself Ukrainian.
Anonymous said…
That's democracy for you - as a US politician once said "the people have spoken - the bastards".

I think Yuschenko did the best he could - you can't keep having elections until you get the 'right' result.

Tymeschenko will become stronger at the expense of Yuschenko.

If anyone is to blame it is Socialists for breaking up the 'Orange' coalition - why did they do that?
Anonymous said…
Yushchenko is a traitor and should be impeached...

What was the purpose of the "Orange Revolution"?

Why did I freeze my ass for 3 weeks in 2004?
Jerry Kocijowsky said…
The question asked: why did the Socialists break up the Orange Revolution? It really is quite simple: they went to where the money is-in other words they were bought off. They are just whores. Besides the Socialists are light communists and really should never be considered democrats.