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Yanukovich admits that government failed to explain suspension of agreement with EU

December 24, 2013, 21:54 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, December 24, /ITAR-TASS/. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich has admitted that the government failed to clearly explain to the people why it had postponed the signing of the association agreement with the European Union, which triggered mass protest action in Kiev’s central Independence Square.

“The position of manufacturers from the most vulnerable economic sectors was not taken into account while working on the free trade zone agreement,” Yanukovich said on Tuesday. “This works should have been based on meetings with sectoral business associations, the study of their viewpoints, the study of the public opinion and open parliamentary hearings.”

“This is not a document that should have been closed,” the Ukrainian president said. “Naturally, we should have organized a broad discussion of this issue to base the future decision on. It was a tremendous drawback that had influenced the decision.”

He noted that the association and free trade zone agreement in the existing format would have entailed economic damage to the farming sector, transport machine-building, aircraft-building and high technology industries. “If we sign the agreement on such conditions, it would have negative consequences for us,” Yanukovich said. “People would never forgive us such mistakes.”

Speaking about the reasons for protest actions, the Ukrainian leader noted that such actions “stemmed from people’s wish for better living.” “Many people are guided not by reason but by emotions,” he said. “So, politicians, extremists and various kinds of provokers played on this emotional burst. We must learn a lesson from this and we shall do it to avoid such things in future.

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