Saturday, 2 October 2010

Yanukovych Looks For Partners For Ukraine Beyond EU

YALTA, Ukraine -- Ukraine will push for reforms that would allow it to join the European Union, but will also develop cooperation with other world powers, including Russia and the United States, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Friday.
Ukraine has no alternative for the European choice, but since the EU is not ready even to discuss the Ukrainian membership, we will choose the pace, forms and methods of integration by ourselves, in accordance with our national interests," Yanukovych told participants in a forum of the Yalta European Strategy (YES) organization promoting Ukraine's integration with Europe.

"Integration should stimulate the development of the national economy. We will continue maintaining active cooperation with other international political and economic centers," he said.

The development of economic links with Russia, especially in the aircraft construction and energy spheres, maintains one of the main planks of Ukrainian foreign policy, the president said.

"We are returning again to cooperation and strategic partnership," he said.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine sunk to post-Soviet lows during the presidency of Yanukovych's pro-western predecessor Viktor Yushchenko, but ties have improved significantly since Yanukovych's election in February.

Ukraine also intends to develop its ties with the United States and developing countries, Yanukovych said.

"We are planning to raise relations with China, India and South Korea to a strategic level," he said.

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