15:40 11.08.2009

Yatseniuk says Yuschenko has given grounds to call his policy anti-Russian

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's statement on the postponement of the new Russian ambassador's arrival in Kyiv reflects the high level of tension in relations between Ukraine and Russia, former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has said.

"I think that this is the evidence of the very high temperature in our bilateral relations. I'd like to emphasize that in principle, there are problems here both with the Ukrainian and Russian sides," he told the Echo of Moscow radio station on Tuesday.

Yatseniuk said that the political course followed by incumbent Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko had given grounds for his policy to be called anti-Russian.

"Of course, the incumbent Ukrainian president has given many grounds to consider his policy anti-Russian. However, our Russian colleagues have immediately used this. Therefore, a chronic disease has become extremely acute," he said.

"The current level of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and Russia is unacceptable," he said.

Yatseniuk said he disagreed with some of Medvedev's statements. In particular, he pointed to mutual relations between Ukraine and Georgia and the actions of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in respect to South Ossetia.

"I don't support what Saakashvili had done, but all of the weapons were supplied [by Ukraine to Georgia] in line with international standards," he said.

Yatseniuk said that nobody in Ukraine was planning to raise the question of the early withdrawal of the Russian Black Sea Fleet from Sevastopol, and he criticized the Ukrainian politicians who insisted on a review of the rent for the basing of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol.

He said that a new format of mutual relations between Ukraine and Russia would be determined after the presidential election in Ukraine in January 2010.

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