Cards shuffled in the EU’s most important eastern neighbors. The orange parties in Ukraine have reached a coalition agreement that will put Yulia Timoshenko back in the prime minister’s office. Let’s hope she lasts longer this time.
Meanwhile to the north, the party supported by Russian president Putin is expected to win a crushing victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday. Observers from the OSCE will not be attending — for the first time since there have been post-Soviet elections in Russia. Gary Kasparov, former chess champion and sometime candidate for president of Russia, will be attending — fresh from five days in jail on rather dubious charges related to opposition to Putin’s party. Boris Nemtsov, one-time mayor of Nizhny Novgorod and leading reformer in the early post-Soviet period, will presumably also be attending — despite publicly comaring Putin to Lukashenka at a press event marking Kasparov’s release.
Soon we will know the players in the inevtiable next round of wrangles over energy supplies, prices and politics in Central and Eastern Europe.