‘New Ukrainian President Poroshenko may enforce more violence in east’
Manuel Ochsenreiter, who's covered events in Ukraine extensively, believes the country could be in for a sugar rush - with half of the ballot now counted these are the latest partial results putting the country's chocolate king, oligarch Pyotr Poroshenko, in the lead with over 50 percent of the vote in the presidential election. His main rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is trailing far behind.
RT:Poroshenko's claiming victory. Is this going to pass unchallenged by the other election runners?
Manuel Ochsenreiter: The big question is by who it should be challenged. The only opportunity would be that only Yulia Timoshenko would challenge that. But anyway, I think she would need to challenge the result for support of the West. But for the West it’s completely OK when Poroshenko won the election, because if Poroshenko or Tymoshenko are ruling the country it is a little bit like a choice between McDonald’s and Burger King - the agenda is not so far away.
So who else can challenge the result of the elections? Moscow will not do it, the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugansk will not do that - they do not see themselves anymore as a part of Ukraine, the already said it is not their business. Crimea is a part of Russia, there will not be any vote. I think we can be pretty sure that Poroshenko will be acknowledged president.
RT:With half of the ballot now counted it looks like a clear win for Poroshenko. Can he bring stability to the country?
MO: I do not think so. I think even the presidential elections which took place on Sunday are not a measure to bring peace and to calm down the situation, more or less it is a contradiction. He is very clearly the man of the West, one of the favorite candidates of the West. So what he will do, he will push Ukraine or the rest of Ukraine - Ukraine is not anymore the state we see on the map, it is a failed entity – towards the West and will of course push towards contracts with the EU and towards NATO. Both he announced already in the past.
RT:Experts have been saying that it would be crucial for the new president to open dialogue with Russia. Can Poroshenko deliver here?
MO: We see contradictory messages of Poroshenko. We see on the one side that he announced that he wants to talk to the Russian government, especially to the Russian President Vladimir Putin. But at the same time we see that he announced that he will not recognize the change of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia, that he will go to the eastern regions, to the regions which declared independence and which are now looking towards Russia. He also announced that he is against the federalization of the country. So he is not even doing a small step towards those people who are not at all confident with what happened in Kiev in the last months.
We are seeing contradictory messages. He is saying he wants to talk to Putin and at the same time he seems to do everything that there will not be any agreement possible. Maybe it is expected from him to give moderate message but at the same time he is acting against what he says.
RT:What about the eastern regions? What do you expect from him when it comes to finding common ground with protesters there?
MO: This will be a very interesting mission because he will not just go there as he is right now so far. So to go there he has to secure the situation. He feels as the president, he is the president of Ukraine and so-called antiterrorist operations must be enforced to secure the area for him. When he announces visiting Donetsk or Lugansk it means clearly, the clear message is the so-called antiterrorist violence turned out by Ukrainian militants, by the Ukrainian army and by the West - we know today the Western mercenaries are also in service of the Ukrainian government - will be enforced. The violence will be [there] to secure the situation for his PR-event when he is speaking in Donetsk or in Lugansk.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.