The View from Washington

Ukraine’s Presidential Elections

Experts in Washington this week came together to answer questions from an audience in Kyiv on the upcoming presidential run-off election in Ukraine.


Ukrainians will decide this Sunday which of the two top vote-getters from the first round of their presidential election—Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko or parliamentary opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych—will replace current President Viktor Yuschenko. The election is a historic moment in this nascent democracy, which experienced its first real break from autocratic governance just five years ago. And on Tuesday, the Center for American Progress and the Institute of World Policy in Kyiv held a videoconference that gave the Ukrainian public a unique opportunity to see how Washington views the elections and the future of the bilateral relationship.

The event featured Samuel Charap, Associate Director for CAP’s Russia and Eurasia program; Steven Pifer, former ambassador to Ukraine and currently a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; Damon Wilson, a former National Security Council official, now vice president at the Atlantic Council; and William Taylor, former ambassador to Ukraine and currently vice president at the United States Institute of Peace.

These four panelists answered the questions of an assembled audience of journalists, experts, and diplomats in Kyiv. The discussion covered a diverse set of issues including the domestic political situation in Ukraine; energy sector reform; Euro-Atlantic integration; and the possibilities for strengthening the U.S.-Ukraine relationship.

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