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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tymoshenko Spits in Putin's Eye

The Wall Street Journal reports that Putin's Russia, once again, has a major amount of egg on its face, enduring yet another egregious foreign policy failure:

Yulia Tymoshenko, the firebrand leader of Ukraine's Orange Revolution, emerged as the big winner in parliamentary elections, an outcome that could bring fresh upheaval to relations with Russia.

It is unclear whether Ms. Tymoshenko will be Ukraine's next prime minister, but Sunday's vote has confirmed her as the driving force among the country's westward-leaning parties, and it appeared to give them enough seats in Parliament to form a government.

[Yulia Tymoshenko]

That would be a welcome result for Western leaders and Ukrainians who supported the 2004 Orange Revolution, in which hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians protested to overturn fraudulent elections. At the time, it appeared that democracy movements were sweeping across the former Soviet Union; they have become mired in infighting since then.

An Orange government would not likely be welcomed by Moscow, whose favored candidate, Viktor Yanukovich, lost in 2004 but returned to power as prime minister last year. As soon as Mr. Yanukovich took office, he halted Ukraine's bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which Moscow opposes.

Ms. Tymoshenko has said she would seek to reopen negotiations with Russia over the price at which it sells natural gas to Ukraine and to shut out RosUkrenErgo, the opaque company half-owned by Russian state gas giant OAO Gazprom that handles the trade. Ukraine currently pays a little more than half the price some of its neighbors pay for gas, a result of negotiations Mr. Yanukovich conducted last year.

Ms. Tymoshenko's party, Bloc Yulia Tymoshenko, increased its share of the vote by 10 percentage points from the 2006 election to 32%, with three-quarters of the ballots counted, Ukraine's Central Election Commission said. That put her half a percentage point behind the Party of the Regions, headed by Mr. Yanukovich. Our Ukraine, the party of President Viktor Yushchenko, placed third, with 15%.


elmer said...

And what is the first move Vlad Dracul and the russkies make in view of this HUGE victory?

Cut off gas to Ukraine.

Does Vlad Dracul like democracy?

The British have a better read on it that does the New York Times.

The Russian motto:

"I want to see my neighbor's barn burn down."

Taras said...

Tymo would appreciate the WSJ analysis, but not the portrait, in which she looks at least ten years older than she really is:)