Monday, March 8, 2010

Kremlin - News Conference following Russian-Ukrainian Talks

Here is a quotation from the article dedicated to the press conference of the President of Ukraine Mr Yanukovych and the President of the Russian Federation Mr Medvedev that took place on March 6, 2010 in Moscow.
QUESTION: My first question is for the President of Ukraine. Mr Yanukovych, everybody noticed (including in Russia), that your first trip as President was to Brussels. Where is Russia in relation to Ukraine’s foreign policy priorities: first or second? As for NATO, we know that in Ukraine people have already been collecting signatures for a referendum on joining the organisation. What about this referendum – will it take place? Of course, we are all interested in your fundamental position on the Black Sea Fleet. Your predecessor flatly refused to admit that the fleet could remain where it is after 2017. What do you think? I want to ask Russia's President a question as well: will the Ukraine’s pro-European foreign policy adversely affect the development of Russian-Ukrainian relations?
DMITRY MEDVEDEV: Can I give a quick answer to that one? It won’t.
VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH: I went to Brussels because I was invited there for March 1, and to Russia on March 5. There was no opportunity to do it differently. I can tell you that Mr Medvedev is empathetic both as a man and as president; the first few days as president of any country are always difficult in terms of where to go, etc. So I am gaining experience. But as we used to say, all roads lead to Moscow and I came here on March 5. With regard to NATO. I have answered this question many times: as a European non-bloc-member country Ukraine will develop its relations with NATO in accordance with its national interests. And it will always be this way.
The whole article is available at: