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Yanukovich in TV address to explain leadership stand ahead of Vilnius summit

November 27, 2013, 7:20 UTC+3 KIEV
1 pages in this article

KIEV, November 27, 3:29 /ITAR-TASS/. In recent days, the political weather-gauge in Kiev has been indicating a high degree of intensity of emotions. On Wednesday the fever pitch will rise still higher on the eve of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius.

Analysts' estimate is that one of the central events will be a televised address by President Viktor Yanukovich to explain the attitude to the forum at which Ukraine only recently expected to sign an Agreement on Association with the European Union (EU).

On November 21, the government decided to suspend the process of preparation for signature, pleading a hard stateof affairs in the economy. In a brief televised address this past Monday Yanukovich promised in an interview to television channels soon to describe in greater detail "the joint steps and actions which we shall be taking together". It is expected that in a televised address the president will lay emphasis on Ukraine's still seeking to sign an Association Agrerment but that a more appropriate moments must be chosen for that when it will be possible to compensate the risks.

In his remarks in an interview with local television channels on Tuesday night, the head of state said, "We shall do our best to make Ukraine economically stronger," he pledged. "As soon as we 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 euros 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 shall not be there," he stresssed.

Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told journalists on Tuesday that President Yanukovich intends to go to thesummit in Vilnius to discuss the possibility of debating trade matters in a Ukraine-Russia-EU format.

Yet another political heavyweight -- Vladimir Rybak, Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada-- immediately upon returning here aftera a trip to Canada, will meet with Loreta Grauziniene, Chairperson of the Lithuanian Seimas, on Wednesday. That she will visit here became known literally at the last moment and an agenda of the meeting has not been disclosed. However, the high-ranking representative of Lithuania -- the hosr of the Eastern Partnership summit -- obviously intends to discuss Ukraine's Eurointegration prospects with due regard for the latest developments.

The Vilnius summit and Ukraine's Eurointegration prospects will be also discussed not only the presidential televised address and in the reception hall of the Verkhovna Rada but also through the so-called meg-agitation methods in the European Square outside the walls of the Cabinet building. The "pro-European maidan" rally has been boisterous here for a sixth day. Students of the captal's higher learning establishments joined in the acton for Eurointegration on Tuesday and an all-Ukraine student two-hours warning strike is expected to begin at noon Wednesday. Strike organizers have put it forward as the main demand the signing of the Association Agreement with the EU.

Picketing will be held outside the Cabinet building, just as has been the case in the previous days. The organizers say they expect reinforcements from supporters from the regions.

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