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Yanukovich: Ukraine will sign Association Agreement with EU when it has right conditions

November 27, 2013, 5:04 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, November 26, 23:47 /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine will sign the Association Agreement with the European Union when necessary economic conditions are created, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said in an interview with Ukraine’s leading television channels on Tuesday.

“We shall do our best to make Ukraine economically stronger,” he pledged. “As soon as reach a comfortable level we shall sign the agreement with the European Union.”

“Only time will show when the moment is right. I want it to come as soon as possible,” he stressed but warned against hasty foreign policy steps. “We must not hurry anywhere not to smash the forehead,” Yanukovich said, adding that Kiev’s strategic course remained unchanged. “We only want our interests be reckoned with,” he noted.

According to Yanukovich, Ukraine will need at least 20 billion euro a year to introduce European standards, or 160 billion euro till the year 2017. The signing of the Association Agreement, in his words, “is not Ukraine’s joining the European Union, hence Ukraine will have no access to European funds.”

“We should be strong to be treated as an equal partner,” he said. “I am confident that we should not be a ‘poor cousin’ with hat in hand anywhere. As long as I am the head of state, I will not let anyone humiliate Ukraine.”

He stressed that any of the state decisions, including foreign policy ones, must be guided by national interests. “What matters most are our Ukrainian interests. We have always based any decisions only on Ukraine’s national interests and I will be guided by this principle,” he pledged.

He confirmed his participation in an Eastern Partnership summit in the Lithuanian capital city Vilnius on November 28-29. “I have not changed my plans,” he said. “I have said more than once that I plan to go to Vilnius.”

Touching on Ukraine’s negotiations on a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), he said it was Ukraine’s mistake to hope for that, since these negotiations had yielded no result.

He reminded that for the past three years the European Union had demanded that Ukraine sign a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund to be offered a technical assistance worth 610 million euro.

“Since 2010, they have been showing us this candy in a bright wrapper and saying: ‘You will get it when you sign an agreement with the International Monetary Fund,’” Yanukovich said. “Do not humiliate us. We are not infants to be mad after sweets. We are a serious European state, and the IMF is telling us: ‘Raise tariffs for the population, freeze wages and pensions’ and so on and so forth. I shall never accept this.”

“Our hopes that the International Monetary Fund will help us have ended in nothing,” he noted. “I personally took part in the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund both in Ukraine and in the United States. We have received a negative answer.

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