During a three-day visit to New York, President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych confirmed the European vector of Ukraine. In his speech at the 68th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations he also touched upon other important global problems – environment protection, power industry, nuclear safety, peace processes, the situation in Syria, etc.
The Ukrainian president also assured the world leaders that “Ukraine will continue to make significant practical contribution to making the world a safer place.” “We will use all possible tools for that, including non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council, in case our state gets elected to this body for a period of 2016-17. I am counting on support for Ukraine’s candidacy in these elections,” stressed Yanukovych.
Speaking of European integration the president confirmed the definitely chosen political course of Ukraine before the Summit of Eastern Partnership in Vilnius. “We also consider the aspirations of Ukraine for European integration, which indicate the defining vector of the country’s development, through the prism of sustainable development,” said Yanukovych in his address to the Assembly. “Ukraine makes its contribution to the project of the Great Europe, which indicates the common interests and goals for the development of the western and eastern countries of our continent.” The president also added that the Association Agreement with the EU would become “an important instrument for increasing the welfare of Ukrainian citizens and, thus, would facilitate our country in achieving the millennium development goals.”
Yanukovych also discussed the issue of the European integration at the official reception on behalf of the US President Barack Obama. “I said that we are moving confidently along this path and this information was also taken into account,” the press service quoted the president’s words. The head of the Ukrainian state managed to also briefly discuss the situation in Syria while talking to Obama. “We very briefly exchanged some information on Syria. I have confirmed that any peaceful solution is always better than any war, even if it’s only a short one… which might lead to the humanitarian catastrophe,” said Yanukovych. The president paid special attention to this topic in his speech. And even though, some experts expected that the “highlight” of his speech would be an offer to help utilize the Syrian chemical weapons, for unknown reason this hadn’t been said. “Ukraine stretched a hand of support to the Syrian people, providing assistance through UN mechanisms. Today we urge the entire international community to join this humanitarian mission,” noted Yanukovych. He also expressed his hope for political and diplomatic settlement of the conflict and supported the plan of the United States and Russia of transferring the Syrian chemical weapons to the international community and its subsequent destruction.
The president of Ukraine managed to talk with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. In particular, he informed the Secretary General that the Ukrainian Navy frigate Hetman Sahaidachny has already been sent to join the mission “Ocean Shield” as a part of the campaign against maritime piracy.
During a press conference Yanukovych said that Ukraine is determined to achieve energy independence in the future and continues to work on diversifying of energy supply. In his interview for the Bloomberg news agency he also spoke about the threats and humiliation from Russia regarding the European integration course of Ukraine. “It doesn’t help our relations and does not show Russia in a good light,” stressed the president of Ukraine.