Pro-Western parties won an overwhelming majority in Ukraine’s Parliament, President Petro O. Poroshenko declared on Sunday, citing exit polls. With the country still on a war-footing with Russian separatists in the east, Mr. Poroshenko hailed Sunday’s vote as a resounding endorsement of his government’s efforts to break free of Kremlin influence and shift hard toward Europe. “I asked you to vote for a democratic, reformist, pro-Ukrainian and pro-European majority,” he said in a statement posted on his website after polls closed. “Thank you for having heard and supported this appeal.” Mr. Poroshenko said more than three-quarters of those who voted “powerfully and permanently supported Ukraine’s course toward Europe.” He called the result “a landslide vote of confidence from the people.”
The results, if confirmed by official tallies expected on Monday, would complete a transformation of the government that began in February when President Viktor F. Yanukovych fled after sustained, bloody street protests over his decision to align more closely with Russia.
President Petro O. Poroshenko has vowed to unshackle Ukraine from the Kremlin. Credit Valentyn Ogirenko/Reuters
Expanded power for pro-Western parties is certain to be cheered by the United States and its European allies, which have staked a huge political and financial bet on Ukraine’s ability to emerge from its current crisis as a stable state, and especially to be able to repay its debts.
The United States and European nations are also eager to end the worst violence on the Continent since the conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s, and to resolve the most dangerous dispute between the West and Russia since the Cold War. That, however, is likely to hinge as much on President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as on Mr. Poroshenko.