Viktor Yanukovych grabbed the spotlight at the Washington nuclear summit by coming up with statements that let Pres Obama score his first tangible success, Washintron Post writes.
By making a step forward in terms of rejecting entry in the Customs Union with Russia, Yanukovych demonstrated that he is eager to strike a balance in the relations with Russia and the West.
“By making his assurances, Yanukovych created a relationship with the White House that will counterbalance his long-time links with the Kremlin. In doing so, he distinguished himself among tens of leaders that filled up posh Washington hotels on Monday,” Jackson Deal writes.
Speaking the Washinton Post about Ukraine’s foreign policy course, Pres Yanukovych expressed his intention to reach a balance between the East and West, stressing that he wants friendly relations with NATO.
“The relations between NATO and Ukraine won’t change. We will maintain them at the same level. The only thing that changed is that Ukraine is a non-affiliated country and will not join NATO. But we will foster and develop our ties with NATO,” Yanukovych assured.
He also commented on his proposal to strike a deal with the EU on joining the free trade zone by late 2010 and assured that Ukraine has no plans to enter the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. As regards the US-Ukraine agreement on using low- enriched nuclear fuel at Ukraine’s NPPs, Yanukovych said the agreement got off the ground only when Pres Obama gave it a higher priority.