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Time to come good on his promises

Ukraine's president Viktor Yushchenko has had a roller-coaster 12 months. He was poisoned, faced rigged election results and was then swept to power on the back of a peaceful revolution that split Ukrainian opinion in two. Now the time has come to show whether he can deliver on his pledges. Euromoney quizzed Yushchenko on how he intends to do this

NINE MONTHS HAVE passed since the Orange Revolution swept Viktor Yushchenko and his prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko to power in Ukraine, and both must be feeling that their honeymoon period in office is over.

Ukrainian citizens and foreign investors alike are demanding results. The heady and wide-ranging promises that the two politicians made as they took charge earlier this year must now be put into effect if they hope to consolidate their position in the run-up to parliamentary elections in March 2006.

Some cracks are also beginning to show in their relationship, notably over the extent to which so-called "illegal" privatizations conducted under the previous president should be examined and rerun.

"Ukraine's political system is evolving positively, but not rapidly so," noted a Merrill Lynch research report published at the end of August. "The country has made steps forward toward a more pluralistic and democratic society, thereby enhancing its chances of long-run integration with the EU. However, political power struggles are still eclipsing economic reform, a noticeable difference to more advanced convergence countries."

The government has to confront several issues concerning the economy.

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