CORRECTED: Yushchenko Accuses Moscow Of Provoking Ukraine

BERLIN, Germany -- Moscow is calling into question the sovereignty of Ukraine, President Viktor Yushchenko told the German news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

Viktor Yushchenko

The president said Moscow had recalled its ambassador from Kiev and was refusing to send a replacement as long as he remained as Ukrainian head of state.

This was an unprecedented occurrence in Europe, the president said in an interview, details of which were released in advance of publication on Sunday.

Yushchenko also blamed elements of the Russian Black Sea fleet for recent clashes with Ukrainian police on the Crimea. He said Ukraine had the right to control Russia's military presence in the region.

But there were apparently forces 'who wanted to see a destabilization of the Crimea,' he said. For this reason Ukraine had to seek security within the umbrella of NATO, Yushchenko added.

The president accused Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a former ally but now his political rival, of representing the interests of Russia in Ukraine.

Instead of carrying out reforms, all the Tymoshenko government was interested in was clinging to power, the president said.

He also accused people close to the prime minister of seeking to hobble the investigation into who tried to poison him in September 2004.

More than 1,000 people had been questioned in relation to the incident, which almost cost the president his life and left his face pockmarked.

'The people who organized my poisoning during an official dinner have been in Moscow for four years. Among them is a former deputy secret service head, the cook and a member of the service personnel,' he said.

'I have approached the president of Russia three times and asked for Ukrainian investigators to be allowed to question them. But unfortunately that has all been in vain so far.'

Despite being isolated, Yushchenko said he would be a candidate for president in elections scheduled for January 2010.

Source: DPA


Stargazer said…
I think you mean Yushchenko will be a candidate for presidency in 2010
Nicholas said…
Yes, it should read January 2010.

Thank you.