Defeat? Whats that? A court challenge it seems. The Cold War is getting colder.
Ukraine's prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, was today under pressure to concede defeat in the country's presidential election after international observers hailed Sunday's poll as fair and "truly competitive".
Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said there were no indications of serious fraud and described the vote as an "impressive display" of democracy. "For everyone in Ukraine this election was a victory," João Soares, president of the OSCE's parliamentary assembly, said.
With 98.8% of the votes counted, the Russian-leaning opposition leader, Viktor Yanukovych, had a clear 2.9% lead over Tymoshenko. But Tymoshenko has refused to recognise her opponent's victory, and according to local media reports she has ordered her lawyers to challenge the result in court.
Tymoshenko's campaign declined to comment on the reports, but her parliamentary allies repeated allegations of widespread fraud.
"A decision has been taken to challenge results in the individual polling stations and to demand a recount at those stations," said Yelena Shustik, a deputy with her parliamentary bloc.
But the OSCE's comments will make it much harder for Tymoshenko to sustain a legal challenge against the outcome. The monitors hinted that Tymoshenko should admit defeat, noting that in any election there are "winners and losers. It is now time for the country's political leaders to listen to the people's verdict and make sure the transition of power is peaceful and constructive," Soares said.
In these times of political turmoil it's up to election winner Viktor Yanukovych to bring stability to Ukraine, writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung: "Yanukovych could manage this if he is able to bring politicians from Western Ukraine on board. ... The European Union also has every interest in a stable Ukraine, and consequently EU politicians should do all they can to exert a moderating influence on both the winner and the losers. ... Domestic stability is the precondition for any further reforms and something even the country's powerful oligarchs are pushing for from the sidelines. They too know that the country must become more democratic if it wants any further political support from the EU. And Kiev will need just that as soon as the next conflict with Moscow rolls around." (09/02/2010)
Moscow is on the march. After invading Georgia and establishing Russia's dominance over the secessionist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Mr. Putin is now bent on dismembering Ukraine. The Russian strongman has made no secret of his contempt for Kiev's independence. At a NATO summit in April, he told President Bush that Ukraine is "not even a real state," and that much of its territory was "given away" by Russia. Mr. Putin warned that Ukraine would "cease to exist as a state" if it dared to join NATO.
Viking and Slavic culture have had a truce for a long time (since WWII to be exact). Lets hope it stays that way.
If you look at history the ancient rivalries are there. Its probably more obvious for our Euro viewers now but...
Its is often that stated difference Baltic Countries and the Ukraine compare with the Rus.