Yanukovich sworn in as Ukraine president without PM

Viktor Yanukovich was sworn in as president on Thursday saying Ukraine was facing "colossal debts", poverty, corruption and economic collapse.

Yanukovich sworn in as Ukraine president without PM

Viktor Yanukovich was sworn in as president on Thursday saying Ukraine was facing "colossal debts", poverty, corruption and economic collapse.

Yanukovich defeated Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in a Feb. 7 run-off which she still insists not to accept the result.

"I, Viktor Yanukovich, elected president of Ukraine by the will of the people, swear the oath of loyalty to Ukraine," he said at a ceremony in parliament attended by a host of foreign dignitaries.

"I vow to defend through my actions the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and the rights and freedoms of its citizens," he said.

The ceremony was marred by the absence of his defeated rival in the February 7 presidential elections, who has so far refused to quit office or recognise Yanukovich as the new president.

In his inauguration speech Yanukovich declared he would pursue a foreign policy involving ties with Russia, the European Union and the United States that would reap maximum results for the country.

"Ukraine needs a strategy of innovative movement forward and such a strategy has been worked out by our team," he said.

But in a signal that he does not want to abandon EU integration, Yanukovych has chosen the EU's headquarters in Brussels for his first foreign trip Monday before heading to Moscow.

Yanukovych has called on Tymoshenko to resign gracefully after her narrow defeat by a margin of some 3.5 percent in February 7 presidential elections. But the prime minister has refused to budge.

Yanukovych will become Ukraine's fourth post-independence president after Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and the outgoing Yushchenko, who led the Orange Revolution of 2004 that raised hopes of reform but ultimately disappointed its supporters.

Tymoshenko olast Saturday dropped her legal challenge to Yanukovich's election.

Now she is resisting attempts to oust her as prime minister, signalling continued political tension in the ex-Soviet state of 46 million, at least in the short-term.


Agencies

Last Mod: 25 Şubat 2010, 14:17
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