[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 09:47 GMT 10:47 UK
Yushchenko pledges EU, Nato vote
Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko
Mr Yushchenko has said he hopes Ukraine could join the EU in 2016
Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko has said any decision to join the European Union or Nato will be made by the Ukrainian people in a referendum.

Answering questions from the public in a live TV broadcast, Mr Yushchenko did not say when such votes might be held.

He said that Nato membership was not on the agenda at the moment.

The EU and Nato have both said that Ukraine would need to do considerable work before it met the requirements for membership bids.

Mr Yushchenko, a pro-western liberal, stressed that he wanted to maintain a close relationship with Russia as well as with the European Union.

"Up until now the guiding policy principle has been one or the other," he said. "We propose another principle - incorporating one and the other. We need the strategic prospects of good relations with Russia and with the European Union."

He promised viewers: "I guarantee that formulation of a national policy on issues such as Ukrainian membership of the European Union and Nato will be decided strictly by referendum."

The president came to power in January in a re-run election after mass street protests challenged an initial result that gave victory to his pro-Russia rival, Viktor Yanukovych.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific