Ukraine is still waiting for opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich to be confirmed as the country’s next president with pressure mounting on rival Yulia Tymoshenko to concede defeat.
With nearly all the votes counted, Yanukovich has a narrow but apparently insurmountable lead.
The ex-mechanic is seen as pro-Russian, but some believe he will not want to neglect ties with Europe and the West.
Mikhail Pohrebinsky from the Centre for Political and Conflict Studies said: ‘‘For us it is very important to continue cooperation with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. We badly need investment and in order to gain more legitimacy and improve his reputation with Europe, Yanukovych will not clearly steer a course towards Russia.’‘
Despite international monitors declaring the ballot an ‘impressive display of democracy”, Prime Minister Tymoshenko remains reluctant to throw in the towel. She is expected to make an announcement later today. However, there are fears a prolonged period of uncertainty over the result could compound Ukraine’s economic woes.