Kiev: Will Ukraine turn pro-Western? Voters will decide on Sunday when the war-torn country goes to polls.
The polls promise too dramatically reshape Parliament as President Petro Poroshenko is under immense pressure to remove lawkers tied to the old regime of Viktor Yanukovych, ousted in February after a wave of bloody protests, from the Parliament.
While Poroshenko may succeed in creating a pro-Western coalition in Parliament, the bigger of his worries would be to devise ways to bring the separatist east back under control of Kiev.
An assertive Russia has been backing Crimea, leaving the world powers with very few options to strengthen Poroshenko's hands.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he respected Ukraine`s territorial integrity but questioned how its frontier with Russia was set.
"The history of Ukraine`s formation and its current borders -- this is a rather complex process," Putin said.
Putin highlighted Moscow`s involvement in Ukraine`s affairs when he acknowledged for the first time that Russia had helped Yanukovych flee his country following his ouster.
Ukraine had 36.5 million voters, but lost about 1.8 million after the annexation of Crimea in March.
Almost three million others live in separatist-controlled areas of Lugansk and Donetsk regions, where insurgent leaders are boycotting the polls and holding their own votes a week later. Kiev has nevertheless vowed to organise polling stations in government-controlled areas of the rebellious east, with Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk promising to ensure security on election day.
With agency inputs