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KIEV, October 12 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of the opposition Party of Regions is leading public opinion polls in Ukraine ahead of presidential election scheduled for January 17, 2010, the UNIAN news agency reported on Monday.
According to a poll conducted by the Ukraine Public Opinion Foundation, 26.8% of voters are ready to cast their votes in favor of Viktor Yanukovych, a former prime minister widely seen as pro-Russian. Incumbent leader Viktor Yushchenko trails with a mere 2.2%.
Yushchenko defeated Yanukovych five years ago in an election re-run, which followed street protests against alleged ballot rigging. The power shift to a pro-Western leadership was known as the Orange Revolution.
Yanukovych's closest rival is Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, with 15.6%. Former parliamentary speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk is placed third with 9.3%.
Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko has 4%, former Ukrainian National Bank chief Sergiy Tygypko 1.6%, and Supreme Rada speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn 1.4%, UNIAN said.
A total of 15.2% of respondents intend to vote against all candidates, 6.7% are unwilling to go to the polls, and 6.7% are undecided.
However, 85.1% of respondents said they will vote.
The poll was conducted from September 26 to October 4 and covered 1,000 respondents in 85 populated areas of Ukraine, with a statistical error of 4%, UNIAN said.
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Ukraine has not preserved its 1991 borders. The signing of the Geneva memorandum on April 17 reaffirmed the willingness of Russia, the United States and EU countries to reach a compromise. While the sides continue to trade tough talk and symbolic sanctions, the Kremlin and the White House are also holding a parallel dialogue on the coordinated geopolitical revision of Eastern Europe.