The promise by Yanukovych given in Moscow to strip Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych of their Hero of Ukraine medals [awarded by Yushchenko] is a sell-out of Ukraine national interests, former Pres Yushchenko believes, a March 6 statement on Our Ukraine website runs.
The first official visit by Viktor Yanukovych to Moscow didn’t address any key problems in the relations between Ukraine and Russia, Yushchenko notes.
“The Russians didn’t send any signals with regard to revising the crippling terms of the gas-supply contract or delimitating the common border without which a visa-free travel agreement with the EU is impossible. Moscow continues to play hardball with Ukraine in order to make Ukraine change its foreign policy course and subjugate Ukrainian interests to those of Moscow,” Yushchenko says.
“The Kremlin resorts to economic (dragging Ukraine into the Customs Union) and military levers (insistence on the continued stationing of its Black Sea fleet in Crimea),” the statement goes on.
Over the past years, Russia has also intensified its undisguised meddling in Ukraine’s domestic affairs by pushing ahead with the questionable need to protect the interests of Russian-speaking Ukrainians and demands to stop the so-called revision of history, Yushchenko continues.
A public commitment by Yanukovych to rescind Yushchenko’s decision to award the Hero of Ukraine titles to Bandera and Shukhevych is a clear sell-out of Ukraine national interests, Yushchenko stresses.