News / Europe

New Ukrainian President Meets EU Leaders in Brussels

Viktor Yanukovych seeking to position his country as a bridge between Europe and Russia

EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L) walks with newly elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych (R) as they arrive for a working session at the EU headquarters in Brussels, 01 Mar 2010
EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy (L) walks with newly elected Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych (R) as they arrive for a working session at the EU headquarters in Brussels, 01 Mar 2010

Multimedia

Audio
  • http://www.voanews.com/MediaAssets2/english/2010_03/Bryant_Ukraine_EU_01Mar10-32b.mp3

Lisa Bryant

Ukraine's new president, Viktor Yanukovich, says he is committed to establishing closer ties with the European Union.

Yanukovich, who is considered far more pro-Russian than his predecessor, chose to make his first foreign trip to Brussels, rather than to Moscow.  There are plenty of issues on the table, including closer ties with the 27-member European Union.

At a press conference following talks with EU officials, Mr. Yanukovich sought to allay European fears about Russian natural gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine that have sometimes been disrupted.

He said Ukraine would remain a reliable transit country for all energy resources, including gas.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called for Ukraine to resume cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, a key condition for Kyiv to get European Union assistance.  He also brought up the possibility of a so-called EU association agreement.

"Currently under negotiation, it will lead to a deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement offering Ukraine access to a market of 500 million consumers and providing a perspective of, in a very short period, doubling Ukrainian exports to the European Union," Barroso said.

A European analyst for the Chatham House policy institute in London, Richard Whitman, says Mr. Yanukovich's visit to Brussels signals an openness toward the West that some had not expected.

"The expectation has been that he was more Moscow interested and clearly by coming to visit Brussels, he has both confounded expectations and pulled the rug from under the feet of his opponents," Whitman said.

But eastern European analyst Amanda Paul, of the Brussels-based European Policy Center, says it is too early to read much into Mr. Yanukovich's visit to Brussels.

"I think he still wants to have a constructive relationship with the European Union.  How far that actually goes still remains to be seen," Paul said.Analysts say Europe wants a Ukraine that is economically and politically stable.  If Mr. Yanukovich proves to be a reliable negotiating partner, that will be welcome in Brussels.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid