Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ukraine Leaning Russia

In light of recent protests Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko announced he would possibly call an early election giving a pro-Russia party a strong chance of winning the country's highest office. The statement comes as a surprise as the western friendly leader enjoys a 3% approval rating.

The Party of Regions headed by Viktor F. Yanukovich is openly oriented towards improving Russo relations, and is poised to win the possible upcoming election. If Yanulovich was to win it would be just another development in a series where many have speculated Russia is attempting to rexert greater regional influence.

Perhaps the most relevant to the current situation is the recent natural gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia. The dispute revolved around Russia demanding payment for debts before continuing to supply Ukraine with natural gas, stressing the country not just economically but socially as well. It was seen by some that Russia through the state controlled corporation Gazprom was attempting to create such friction for Yushchenko's government.

In regards to today's news, if those were Russia's intentions, it's strategy appears to have worked. But nonetheless, it is probable an election will be called in Ukraine and there is liklihood a Russian-friendly party will win. Now either through Russian interference or through domestic admiration, in the end the result will be the same, Russian influence will be extended in the region and that's something we all should take note of.

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