Ukraine will act as a bridge between East and West in order to draw maximum benefits from both, newly elected President Victor Yanukovych said at his inauguration on Thursday.
Mr. Yanukovych beat Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in the February 7 runoff election by a 3.5-per cent margin. He had campaigned on a platform of rebuilding close ties with Russia that badly soured under his predecessor Viktor Yushchenko, while continuing to bid for the European Union. “Being a bridge between East and West, an integral part of Europe and the former Soviet Union, Ukraine will pursue a foreign policy that will allow our state to gain maximum results from equal and mutually advantageous relations with the Russian Federation, the European Union, the U.S. and other nations that influence the global situation,” said Mr. Yanukovych in his address to the nation.
Mr. Yanukovych took the oath of office in the Verkhovna Rada, Parliament, at a ceremony attended by heads of state of several neighbouring states and delegations from many countries.