With Friends Like These…

After a “victory,” there’s nothing like the feeling of having all your buddies singing your praises and standing with you—be it in sports or presidential elections. Nobody likes to stand with a loser, right? According to this BBC report, 9 out of 10 Soviet nations agree that the ever-so-suspect Viktor Yanukovych is the rightful president-elect of Ukraine:

Following the congratulatory message sent by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the pro-Moscow candidate Viktor Yanukovych, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko telephoned the latter to offer his own congratulations before the results had been declared.

Mr Lukashenko’s press office said that during the conversation, “the president said he was completely confident that relations between Ukraine and Belarus will continue to develop as dynamically as they have done in the past”.

The presidents of three Central Asian countries also added their voices.

“Your victory shows that the Ukrainian people have made a choice in favour of the unity of the nation, of democratic development and economic progress,” Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev wrote in a letter to Mr Yanukovych.

Some notable exceptions to the “party line” are Georgia, which had its own revolution just a year ago, and Moldova. Personally, I like this presidential response.

Perhaps it’s just me, but isn’t it funny how it takes Jaques Chirac a week to congratulate Bush on his victory, yet Putin and others have the prescience to congratulate early?