Yanukovych Blasts Yushchenko Speech

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's Regions Party leader Viktor Yanukovych said President Viktor Yushchenko's recent televised speech did not give an in-depth analysis of the 2005 developments in Ukraine or present an effective plan for overcoming the consequences of the economic and political crisis.

Viktor Yanukovych

"Being extremely concerned over the general decline of the situation in the country, the public expected to hear an in-depth analysis of what happened over the last year, and, primarily, a real plan of actions to overcome the consequences of the crisis in the political and economic spheres," says Yanukovych's statement distributed by the Regions Party's press service.

Yanukovych accused the Ukrainian authorities of worsening relations with Russia, which, he said, led to the gas crisis.

"The president claims that Ukraine is seen as a predictable partner. I do not think so. The concerns of Europe's Russians gas consumers that arose as a result of the decline in the Russian-Ukrainian relations indicate the opposite.

The ill-considered steps of the Ukrainian authorities in the foreign policy area led to serious complications developing in the gas transit area for the first time since Russia began shipping gas through Ukraine," the statement says.

Yanukovych's party does not approve Russia's decision to raise gas prices for Ukraine.

Yanukovych also expressed doubt over Yushchenko's claims that upcoming Ukrainian parliamentary elections will be fair.

Source: Interfax