News / Europe

Yanukovych: West Should Stay Out of Ukraine Crisis

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych speaks during a press conference in Kyiv, Dec. 19, 2013.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych speaks during a press conference in Kyiv, Dec. 19, 2013.
VOA News
Ukraine's embattled president harshly criticized the West on Thursday for supporting massive street protests calling for his ouster and announced plans to partially join a Moscow-led economic union - a move likely to deepen the country's political crisis.

Speaking in a televised interview with some hand-picked journalists, President Viktor Yanukovych criticized foreign nations for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.

Visibly angered, Yanukovych said he was "categorically against others coming to our country and teaching us how to live." He ruled out early elections and said opposition politicians needed to "keep their own ambitions under control" after weeks of anti-government protests.

The Ukrainian leader also said his Cabinet was analyzing which parts of the Moscow-led customs union Ukraine should join.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin insisted Thursday that Russia's bailout of Ukraine's struggling economy was driven by a desire to help a partner in dire straits and wasn't linked to Kyiv's talks with the European Union.

Putin made the comments during an annual news conference, after weeks of political turmoil in Ukraine sparked by Kyiv's unexpected refusal to sign a key integration accord with the EU, opting instead to deepen ties with Russia, which opposed the deal.

Yanukovych, in his interview Thursday, said Ukraine had simply "taken a pause" to decide on "what conditions we are signing the free trade zone agreement" with the EU.

On Wednesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said the bailout deal with Moscow would allow Ukraine to revitalize its economy and avoid collapse. In addition to a $15 billion loan, the deal includes slashing the price of natural gas imports from Russia by a third.

After sealing the agreement, Azarov announced three increases in public wages next year as Yanukovych prepares to seek a second term in 2015.

President Yanukovych said he would not run for re-election if his approval ratings remain low. According to recent opinion polls, he trails opposition leaders such as former heavyweight boxing champion Vitaly Klitschko.

Anti-government protests in Ukraine began a month ago and have grown into Ukraine's biggest political crisis in a decade.

The Ukrainian government, which has sought up to $20 billion in foreign assistance to prop up its struggling economy, has assured protesters it eventually plans to sign an association agreement with the European Union.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 20, 2013 11:18 AM
So President Viktor Yanukovych got a much better deal apparently than anybody expected. Lets see what he can make of it in terms of the Ukrainian economy. The gas cut alone is worth about $30 billion over 7 years.


by: Pfalzman
December 19, 2013 4:37 PM
"West Should Stay Out of Ukraine Crisis"...Amen. The U.S doesn't need another international confrontation and the E.U. doeesn't need another economic basket-case to support.


by: jeffersonchenko from: Ukraine
December 19, 2013 11:45 AM
This wasn't a bailout, it was a purchase.
"After sealing the agreement, Azarov announced three increases in public wages next year as Yanukovych prepares to seek a second term in 2015."
These will be so small, that its not worth writing about.
Azarov and Yanukovych must think that Ukrainians are really dumb, they're not, even people in the villages with no internet and very little news outlets (except government sponsored T.V.) know where all this is going. Back to the USSR.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid