Yanukovych appeals to the nation, asks Tymoshenko to step down

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Feb. 10, 2010, 3:55 p.m. |
Dear citizens of Ukraine! Friends and colleagues!

Thank you for your support given to me during the elections! I will do everything possible to prove worthy of your trust.

The elections showed the whole world that Ukraine is a democratic nation. This means that we’ll overcome problems, implement reforms and join the community of the most successful nations of the world.

Ukraine is a big country. We are all different. We live in cities and villages, in East and West; we have different visions of our history. I believe that politics and elections should not divide our country, but, on the contrary, should unite people.

I met hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country. I talked to miners and military men, steel makers and housewives, farmers and pensioners, students and workers. We are all united with one great dream.

We all want to live in a free, stable, democratic country where everyone’s well-being is a major concern of the state, where a person is protected by law and respects laws, where everyone can find a decent job, the youth has prospects for the future, and the elderly enjoy the right to a decent life.

We all want to be proud of our country! It’s the main thing that unites our people! Thus, the economic security of every citizen and unification of the country will be top priority issues for me.

I believe Ukraine stands a good chance of the economic growth. On some future day, the country may be among the most economically developed countries. With this aim in mind, we need a huge advance in the economic and social spheres.

Ukraine needs a strategy for an innovative breakthrough that will become the basis of an economic boost. This is a strategy of supporting high priority areas where our country is strong and that will become the basis for international cooperation. Such areas and industries include steel-making, aircraft engineering, rocket engineering, the nuclear power industry, the military industrial complex and agriculture.

Here I would like to share with you my vision of international priorities of Ukraine.

We will build Ukraine as a united and independent state, which guards its sovereignty. Ukraine will be respected in the world, and we will enjoy good relations with all of our partners.

We respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all our partners and expect to be treated the same by them.

We are the bridge between West and East. We border friendly countries and we are open to new ideas. We are choosing a democratic path and our economy is closely integrated with the economies of Russia and CIS countries, and it is becoming more so with the West.

It is important that all of these ties grow so that we can exploit these advantages for the good of the country and our people.

We are committed to the policy of creating good neighborly relations with all countries. We will not just declare Ukraine’s adherence to common human values. We will act.

We will use the experience of developed countries in reshaping political institutions, business legislation and humanitarian policies.

We will collaborate in creating the European security system.

Speaking of specific actions in this regard, I intend to meet leaders of Russia, EU countries and the U.S. as soon as possible in order to establish new working relations. It is of great importance for Ukraine.

We need the assistance of the West to stabilize the economic situation and restructure financial liabilities; I am particularly interested in improving our investment climate so we can attract further European and American investment, and I am interested in increasing our trade levels.

I will do all I can to promote Ukrainian exports. This is the future of our country, and will bring more jobs to our people.

Negotiations will proceed so that we can enter into a treaty with the EU, within the framework of the European policy neighbourhood, and implement economic assistance programs.

I see Ukraine, in the near future, as a country with a strong economy and developed democratic institutions, a country that makes a unique contribution to creating a safe, stable and prosperous Europe.

Relations with Russia and CIS countries will be our priority. Our countries are closely connected – in terms of economics, culture, and history. Our economic complexes complement each other. These advantages should be used for our people’s benefit.

We will clear the debris of misunderstanding and old problems that emerged during the years of the Orange power.

I am positive that we will be able to restore the proper level of trust between our fraternal nations to achieve mutual benefit. There are no unsolvable problems between our countries.

I am convinced that soon we will launch large-scale joint projects in various fields – industry, gas and energy, trade, transport infrastructure, culture, and humanitarian issues. This will be beneficial for our country.

However, good foreign policies are not, by themselves, sufficient to build a country.

Now is when Ukraine needs a strong, powerful and democratic government most. The country needs a professional government with a consistent program for solving the existing problems. We need the power that will really implement this program.

The reorganization of the Cabinet of Ministers is certainly a top priority issue.

A new Cabinet of Ministers will need to immediately:

- Conduct a comprehensive audit of the economic and financial state of Ukraine and determine the scope of problems inherited from the previous government.

- Create mechanisms that would ensure transparency of the government for our partners and the public.

- Introduce the state budget-2010 for approval.

- Take urgent measures for social protection of people.

- Restore our people’s and foreign partners’ confidence in the government institutions of Ukraine.

- Appeal to our creditors, to our neighbors and to more economically developed countries to reach agreements and ensure direct assistance in overcoming the crisis.

We must urgently implement these tasks to prevent the economic collapse of our country.

The new Cabinet of Ministers should start a war against corrupt practices; otherwise there will be no place for Ukraine among the civilized countries.

We need to start a broad discussion in our society and start the process of reforming key elements of our state power system.

We need to ensure implementation of the program “Ukraine for People” I presented during my election campaign.

I am sure this program has great prospects and may be complemented with ideas and visions of our economists, politicians and experts.

When forming the new government, I am committed to work with everyone interested in bringing our great country together.

But to reorganize the Government it’s essential to create a new governing coalition in the Verkhovna Rada, pursuant to the Constitution. This is a hard negotiation process, but we can not wait any longer. People are tired of waiting.

So, I hereby officially address the Prime Minister and encourage her to resign office and move to the opposition. I urge the current coalition members to announce dissolution of the current coalition, so that I could start talks with other political parties on formation of a new Government.

I hereby remind Tymoshenko that a will of the people is the basis of democracy. Democratic leaders always take for granted any results of expression of the will of people. Our country does not need another political crisis. People voted for a change of government. I ask the Prime Minister to make the right decision and move to the opposition.

It’s the only right scenario for implementing the will of the people and demonstrate to the world that we are in fact a democratic country.

I will try not to be hasty in large-scaled political reforms. I will only propose Constitutional changes when I see that the existing political system has no future and slows the implementation of necessary reforms.

As the new President of our country, I believe that the objective of Ukraine’s revival is totally achievable.

I am positive that we have good prospects of the economic growth, and in the near future Ukraine may become one of the wealthy nations in Eastern Europe.

I will unite Ukraine, bring order to our government and provide every Ukrainian with an opportunity to live a decent life and work in a stable country respected by our neighbors and by all countries worldwide!

This is my main objective as the President of Ukraine!

I thank the people of Ukraine for entrusting me with their hopes for their future. I am committed to proving worthy of their trust.

I wish health, happiness, optimism and prosperity to all people of Ukraine!

And God bless Ukraine.

The entire address has been posted by Yanukovych's Party of Regions website.
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