Putin congratulates Yanukovich on presidential victory

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin congratulated Ukraine’s president-elect Viktor Yanukovich on Monday and expressed hope for closer cooperation.

Yanukovich, who won the presidency by a narrow margin in a February 7 vote, has made clear he will pursue more friendly ties with Russia after years of tension under the pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko.

According to results of the State Election Commission, Yanukovich garnered 48.95 percent of the vote, while his political rival Yulia Timoshenko garnered 45.47 percent of the vote.

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