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16 August 2017
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Interview: Ukraine expected to see political stability after parliamentary elections, says expert

Ukraine will see some political stability after its parliamentary elections, as the ruling Party of Regions is expected to maintain its majority in the 450-seat assembly, a Ukrainian expert said on Monday, according to Xinhua.

The general "picture of the election is clear," said Andrey Ermolaev, head of Ukraine's National Institute for Strategic Studies, in an interview with Xinhua. He predicted that the Party of Regions, led by President Viktor Yanukovych, would retain its leading position any way.

The Ukrainian parliamentary elections concluded on Sunday, and exit polls indicated that the Party of Regions took a lead in the ballot.

Ermolaev said that there would be no protest rallies as the elections were democratic and held in compliance with Ukrainian laws.

"We do not expect any active protests, because these elections were honest," he said, adding that international observers also did not see any systematic violations of the electoral law.

Meanwhile, the voter turnout was not high, which suggests people have turned more indifferent to politics, noted the expert.

"Most importantly, the Ukrainians know that the achievement of significant results will take time. Therefore, they have chosen to be loyal to the ruling party," Ermolaev explained.

On Monday, Ukraine's Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Volodymyr Shapoval announced that the voter turnout for the just- concluded elections was 57.99 percent.

On Ukraine's foreign policy priorities following the elections, Ermolaev told Xinhua that the East European country would continue to adhere to its principle of good-neighborliness and openness.

"The country's foreign policy will not change after the elections, as we want to develop balanced relations with our Western and Eastern partners," said the expert.

He said that he believes the Ukrainian authorities would beef up ties with the European Union (EU), as the ruling party, in its electoral program, had indicated the possibility of introducing a visa-free regime and creating a free trade area with the EU.

"All of these (objectives) require a lot of diplomatic efforts. The successful implementation of these ideas depends on many factors, including signing an association agreement and solving the internal problems in Europe in particular," Ermolaev noted.

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