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A Conversation with Viktor Yushchenko

Speaker: Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine
Presider: Chrystia Freeland, U.S. Managing Editor, Financial Times
September 23, 2008

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When Russia engaged in open conflict with Georgia over the breakaway territories South Ossetia and Abkhazia, some analysts saw it as Moscow asserting regional dominance and wondered whether conflict might follow in Ukraine. Ukraine's government remains fractious, with sizeable pro-Russian elements led by former president and current opposition leader Viktor Yanukovich. Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko discussed his country's political system and the threat of increased pressure from Moscow at this CFR meeting. Yushchenko said the moment is ripe for bolstering Ukraine's democracy and improving its security by taking steps toward NATO accession--particularly given the recent split between Yushchenko's party and that of Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, which resulted in the dissolution of the Ukrainian government. Yushchenko also argued that NATO membership would help solve some of Ukraine's political problems.


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A Conversation with Viktor Yushchenko (Audio)

Speaker: Viktor Yushchenko
Presider: Chrystia Freeland

Listen to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko discuss Kiev's relations with Russia, Europe, and the United States at a CFR meeting.