Ukraine’s New President To Visit Brussels Before Russia

MOSCOW, Russia -- President-elect Viktor F. Yanukovich of Ukraine, who tried during the campaign to shed his reputation as an obedient Kremlin ally, intends to make his first foreign trip after taking office to Brussels, not Moscow, officials said on Tuesday.

President-elect Viktor Yanukovich

Mr. Yanukovich, whose inauguration is on Thursday, is scheduled to visit the headquarters of the European Union next Monday for meetings with senior officials. He is to hold talks with the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy; the president of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso; and others.

Later in the week, Mr. Yanukovich is likely to go to Moscow to see President Dmitri A. Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin.

Mr. Yanukovich’s decision to travel to Brussels seems intended to send a message to the country that he is serious about bolstering relations with Europe and will not be beholden to Russia. It may also help in his effort to appeal to voters who supported his opponent, Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko.

Ms. Tymoshenko’s base is in Western Ukraine, where people tend to yearn for closer ties to Europe and reject Russian influence. Mr. Yanukovich won the Feb. 7 election by 3.5 percentage points by rolling up large margins in the east of the country, which is more oriented toward Moscow.

The Kremlin offered no reaction on Tuesday to Mr. Yanukovich’s decision to go to Brussels first. Under the departing Ukrainian president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, relations with Russia were very tense, and Russian officials seem pleased just not having to deal with him.

Ms. Tymoshenko, who dropped her legal challenge over the election on Saturday, is refusing to step down as prime minister, and Mr. Yanukovich is seeking to assemble a coalition in Parliament to dismiss her. His move to woo the West may improve his chances of garnering support from deputies who might otherwise vote for her.

Europe has long been worried about political instability in Ukraine, which has a large manufacturing economy and serves as a conduit for Russian natural gas.

In an op-ed article in The Wall Street Journal last week, Mr. Yanukovich wrote that he wanted Ukraine to be a bridge between Russia and the West.

“A Yanukovich presidency is committed to the integration of European values in Ukraine,” he said, later adding, “We are a nation with a European identity, but we have historic, cultural and economic ties to Russia as well.”

Source: The New York Times

Comments

wesley rodgers said…
THIS DEVELOPMENT OF VISITING BRUSSELS BEFORE YANUKOVICH GOES TO RUSSIA IS A GOOD INTELLIGENT AND TIMELY MOVE.

HOWEVER,HE MUST PROVE TO UKRTAINE PEOPLE THAT HE IS SINCERE AND ACCOMPLISHES
SOMETHING GOOD AND THAT HE
SHOWS THE UKRAINE PEOPLE THAT
HE CAN BACK UP HIS ACTIONS
WITH ACCOCMPLISHEMNT.
DESPITE THAT HE IS WORKING WITH RUSSIA, MANY NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES AND UKRAINE PEOPLE ARE NOW ANXIOUS FOR RESULTS.
THEY ARE WATCHING VERY CLOSELY AND NOW IMPATIENT ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY.
I WOULD NOT BE AT ALL SURPRISED IF THERE WERE SOME MAJOR DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE INAUGUIRATION.
CAN HE NEGOTIATE DEALS BECAUSE FOR SURE TYMOSHENKO WAS VERY GOOD AT THAT FOR THE MOST PART.
IN OTHER WORDS THE HEAT IS ON AND NOT ALL THE HEAT IS BEING PIPED IN FROM RUSSIA.
LET'S HOPE FOR THE BEST AND PARLIAMENT MUST WORK WITH HIM.
OTHERWISE THE PEOPLE ARE NOW REALLY GOING TO START COMING DOWN ON PARLIAMENT AND OTHER COUNTRIES WILL MAKE IT A POINT OF REFERENCE IN NEGOTIATING.
RESPECTFULLY Wes Rodgers patriotstv.com
wesley rodgers said…
THIS DEVELOPMENT OF VISITING BRUSSELS BEFORE YANUKOVICH GOES TO RUSSIA IS A GOOD INTELLIGENT AND TIMELY MOVE.

HOWEVER,HE MUST PROVE TO UKRTAINE PEOPLE THAT HE IS SINCERE AND ACCOMPLISHES
SOMETHING GOOD AND THAT HE
SHOWS THE UKRAINE PEOPLE THAT
HE CAN BACK UP HIS ACTIONS
WITH ACCOCMPLISHEMNT.
DESPITE THAT HE IS WORKING WITH RUSSIA, MANY NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES AND UKRAINE PEOPLE ARE NOW ANXIOUS FOR RESULTS.
THEY ARE WATCHING VERY CLOSELY AND NOW IMPATIENT ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMY.
I WOULD NOT BE AT ALL SURPRISED IF THERE WERE SOME MAJOR DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE INAUGUIRATION.
CAN HE NEGOTIATE DEALS BECAUSE FOR SURE TYMOSHENKO WAS VERY GOOD AT THAT FOR THE MOST PART.
IN OTHER WORDS THE HEAT IS ON AND NOT ALL THE HEAT IS BEING PIPED IN FROM RUSSIA.
LET'S HOPE FOR THE BEST AND PARLIAMENT MUST WORK WITH HIM.
OTHERWISE THE PEOPLE ARE NOW REALLY GOING TO START COMING DOWN ON PARLIAMENT AND OTHER COUNTRIES WILL MAKE IT A POINT OF REFERENCE IN NEGOTIATING.
RESPECTFULLY Wes Rodgers patriotstv.com