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Ukrainian Crisis; A U.S.-Russian Proxy War

Posted December. 03, 2004 23:06,   


While Ukraine`s Supreme Court is expected to rule on whether to overturn the result of a disputed presidential election, the Ukrainian government and the opposition party couldn’t reach an agreement on the election method. However, both parties agreed to have a re-election.

On top of this, Russia and the United States’ conspicuous intervention make the situation even more complicated. Russia President Vladimir Putin met Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma, who paid an urgent visit to Moscow on the evening of November 2 (local time).

Both leaders agreed to have a complete re-election in order to restart the presidential election from the beginning point.

Because they decided that Ukraine Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, whom they supported, has a slim chance of winning against the opposition party’s candidate Viktor Yushchenko though a final run-off type of a match, they appear to be speculating that a quick re-run of disputed polls will most likely bring victory to Yushchenko, who gathered all supporters together through protests against the unjust presidential election, and a defeat for Prime Minister Yanukovych.

In the meantime, they expect if they back a different ruling party candidate, replacing Yanukovych and scrambling many opposition party candidates from the Communist and the Socialist parties, they can reverse the current situation.

President Putin showed his intention of active involvement, saying, “Russia will always be with Ukraine. We are willing to participate in regulating the situation to the extent that you feel it is right.” Russia is worried about its influence rapidly being reduced upon pro –Western Yushchenko’s assuming the power. However, U.S. President George W. Bush criticized Russia, stating, “Any election, if there is one, ought to be free from any foreign influence.”

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, who is acting as a mediator representing the Western world, objected to the complete re-election idea, “We need to repeat the second round between the same candidates and give the Ukrainians a chance to make a free choice.”

Presidential candidate Yushchenko hoped the re-run will be in the near future, “We don’t need to waste time,” warning, “The complete re-election will jeopardize the Ukrainian economy.”

Ki-Hyun Kim kimkihy@donga.com