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

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid