Saturday, 23 January 2010

Russia Sees Improved Ties With Ukraine

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russia's foreign minister says strained relations with neighboring Ukraine will improve with the election of a new president there this month.
Sergey Lavrov said Friday that he expects Ukraine to take a less ideological stance against its larger eastern neighbor.Opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych is running against Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a second round of voting on Feb. 7.Both have promised to resuscitate ties with Russia, which are flatlining after four years of Western-friendly foreign policy under outgoing incumbent Viktor Yushchenko.Yushchenko suffered a humiliating first-round defeat.Russia is Ukraine's biggest trading partner and historically the region's dominant military power.Russia has bristled at Ukrainian attempts to gain NATO membership.

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