|Victor Yanukovich, Ukrainian President|
President of Ukraine Victor Yanukovich has addressed the nation on 25 November and appeared in public for the first time since the announcement of the government’s decision to suspend the process of European integration and since the beginning of the massive nationwide rallies.
Here is the text of his speech:
“In the nearest future I will give a wide interview for the media and on TV and answer all the questions. And today I would like to stress that there is no alternative for the building of the society with the European standards in Ukraine. And my policies on this path always were and remain consequent.
The reforms being implemented by us tell that we are walking European path.
We are building the state, where human rights, equality before the law, freedom of choice, social protection are the main values for everybody, and it doesn’t matter in which region of Ukraine do you live and on which Square do you come.
As a President I would like to assure the citizens of Ukraine that I will develop and strengthen these indisputable foundations of our life.
Nobody will steal our dream about Ukraine with the equal possibilities, our dream about European Ukraine. In addition to that nobody would push us off the righteous road leading to this great dream.
We’ve done a lot, and there is still a lot to do in front of us. The most difficult on this path were and remain the economical problems.
But I would be unfair and unjust if I wouldn’t take care of the most unprotected and vulnerable layers of our society on whose shoulders would lay the burdens of the transitional period.
|Massive rallies in support of European integration of Ukraine|
(Image: Svoboda Org)
I would be, to say the least of it, not right, if I wouldn’t attempt to do everything possible to avoid losing the working places by these people and to ensure that all of them receive their salaries, retirement’s payments and scholarship payments as well.
I want the peace and quietness to be in our Ukrainian family. Like the father cannot leave his family and children without bread, so I cannot and have no right to leave the people on their own with all the problems they could face, if the industry and production will stop under all this pressure which we experience and feel currently, and millions of our citizens will be left without job.
That is why I need to take the difficult decisions. That is why I risk sometimes being misunderstood. And that is why I am asking my people to listen patiently to me.
I will never make any step against the well being of Ukraine and its people. The will of Ukrainian people always was, it remains and will be the main reason for my steps and decisions.
I want the people to know it.
I am thankful to everybody for the high level of the citizen responsibilities and mind. In the upcoming interviews I will tell with more details about the further common steps and actions which we will make together.
I hope for your understanding and support.
I believe we will overcome all the difficulties on the path of development of our state, as there are no such obstacles the wise and united people couldn’t overcome.
|Euromaidan in Lviv|
We should never ever allow anybody to prevent us from achieving our goals. The prayers and dreams of millions rely on the God’s decision”.
Thus it was the first official appearance of Ukrainian President since the beginning of the protests and his first reaction on the current events. There is no clear stance in this speech though, so it sparked controversial reactions in Ukrainian society.
Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Leonid Kozhara in his turn stated Mr. Yanukovich is planning to visit Summit of Eastern Ukrainian Partnership to be held in Vilnius on 28-29 November.
European leaders claim the issue of the signing of Association Agreement with Ukraine is still on their agenda and the doors remain open for Ukrainian people despite the strange decision of the state’s government.
Meanwhile tens of thousands of Ukrainians all over the country continue to protest the decision of Ukrainian government and demonstrate in support of European integration of Ukraine. Security forces have made several attempts to violently disperse the protests and remove their tents but the demonstrators keep holding the main squares of the city.
Oppositional leaders insist on their demands to organise the parliamentary session to discuss the current issues. In addition to that they've submitted draft of the law demanding impeachment of President and resignation of Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers.
Yulia Tymoshenko, ex-Prime Minister of Ukraine, currently imprisoned, has announced that she starts hunger strike.