Interview with Ukrainian political expert Rostislav Ishenko.
What are your views on the outcome of presidential elections in Ukraine
According to preliminary data, no unexpected cases happened in the course of Sunday's presidential vote. Party of Regions leader Viktor Yanukovych and acting Prime Minister of Ukraine, BYUT leader Yulia Tymoshenko will compete in the second round of the elections. Viktor Yanukovych has gained 10 to 12 percent more votes than Yulia Timoshenko in the first round of elections. I think if nothing serious happens, this gap will be maintained in the run-off.
The only surprising thing about the elections was that rating of the former head of Ukraine’s National Bank Sergey Tigipko rapidly increased making him third after Yulia Tymoshenko.In your opinion, for whom those voters who voted for other presidential candidates in Ukraine on Sunday will vote - Yanukovych or Tymoshenko - in the second round of presidential elections?
According to a poll by Ukrainian ICTV TV channel, about 70-80 percent of voters, who voted for Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Viktor Yushchenko, will vote for Yulia Tymoshenko during the second round. Accordingly, Viktor Yanukovich can rely on only 20-30 percent of voters who voted for Yatseniuk and Yushchenko.
However, according to the same poll, 82 percentof voters who cast their votes for Sergei Tigipko on Sunday, will vote for Viktor Yanukovych in the second round. So, there is reason to believe that the gap between Viktor Yanukovych and Yulia Tymoshenko will not decrease as a result of the second round of the vote. In your opinion, will Yulia Tymoshenko and her party admit to their defeat in case Yanukovych wins presidential elections in the second round or can we expect her to reject results of the vote in this case?
I believe Viktor Yanukovych will win the second round of presidential elections in Ukraine on 99.9 percent. It is doubtful that Yulia Tymoshenko will be able to eliminate the gap with Viktor Yanukovych during the course of time left till the run-off. However, Yulia Tymoshenko is not a politician who easily accepts defeat. I am sure that her staff is considering options of rejecting the presidential run-off.In your view, what will be the state of the Azerbaijani-Ukrainian relations once new president comes to power in Ukraine?
Viktor Yanukovych will most likely be the new president of Ukraine and will have to deal with the internal situation in the country in 2011 which is currently in a very difficult economic situation: the pension fund has went bankrupt, taxes have bee collected for a year ahead, but the treasury is empty.
Of course, in current situation Ukraine's foreign policy will focus on solving economic problems facing the country. The new president of Ukraine will be set on building relations primarily with the countries that are potential lenders and investors in our country. With specific regard to the Azerbaijani-Ukrainian relations, they have always been friendly. I think that under the new president of Ukraine, the relationship will remain smooth and friendly.A. Hasanov