Well dear readers, here’s an interesting little snippet from Interfax-Ukraine:
According to the newspaper, Putin “has decided not to hold frequent meetings with [Ukrainian] Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, so as not to create the impression that Moscow was supporting her during the presidential election campaign.”
At the same time, Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko will have the chance to improve relations with Russia, as he may attend a CIS summit in Chisinau, Moldova, and meet with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, the newspaper reported.
The announcement that Putin would visit Ukraine in October was made at a joint press conference with the Ukrainian and Russian premiers in Gdansk, Poland, on September 1. The premiers promised that they would hold a meeting of the economic cooperation committee of the Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission in Kharkiv.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Russia Kostiantyn Hryschenko and Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov earlier said active preparations for this meeting had been going on for the last two weeks. However, the newspaper reported that a few days ago, Putin’s office told Tymoshenko’s headquarters that the visit had been cancelled. Newspaper sources said that Putin’s decision not to come to Kharkiv had been taken in connection with the presidential election campaign in Ukraine, and Moscow had decided that it would be inappropriate for there to be frequent meetings between the Russian premier and Tymoshenko, who is a future presidential candidate in Ukraine.
A newspaper source said that the economic committee meeting would be postponed, but would be held, along with a meeting of the CIS council of the heads of government, in Yalta on November 19-20. Peskov confirmed that Putin’s visit could be postponed until November and that he might visit a different city.
Now there would be some sense in this move if it was not for the fact that the two people the Kremlin would not want to win, the current President and possibly Yatseniuk……although nobody really knows where he stands, probably not even himself……..are not likely to win anyway.
Regardless of whether Tymoshenko or Yanukovych win, relations with Russia will improve, albeit neither will be overtly pro-Russia but both will definitely be more concilatory and much less anti-Russia than the current President.
Then again, why shouldn’t relations with a large neighbour with many family members on both sides of the borders not improve?
After all if the USA wishes to improve it’s relations with Russia then why shouldn’t Ukraine?
The only valid reason I can see is that if Putin and Tymoshenko are seen as too friendly, many western Ukrainians would vote for Yatensiuk rather than Tymoshenko. No matter how many reverted to Yushenko he is history as far as being President goes.
There really is no need for Russia to interfere in this election as both likely winners are much more neutral in stance towards Russia than Yushenko has been. In fact, a more neutral stance would also be welcomed by the EU no doubt.