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Foreign Minister Says Ukraine Benefits from U.S., Europe Ties


VOA's interview was carried live by Ukraine's Channel 5 television network

Washington, D.C., March 9, 2006 - In an exclusive interview today at the Voice of America (VOA) that was carried live by Ukraine's Channel 5 television network, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Borys Tarasyuk said that the United States has provided "political support for democratic transformations and reforms in our country."

"The dynamics of the development of our relations recently have been extraordinarily positive," he said during the broadcast. "During the dispute over natural gas prices with the Russian Federation, the United States supported Ukraine."

Tarasyuk said that Ukraine's ties with Europe are similarly encouraging. "We can say without reservation that in the past year alone, more was done to advance relations with the European Union than in all the previous years."

Asked about Ukraine's aspirations for membership in NATO, Tarasyuk told VOA that the Ukrainian government should first conduct a campaign to educate the people about the alliance before holding a national referendum on the issue.

In addition to weekly television exchanges, VOA's Ukrainian language service also airs Chas-Time, a daily TV show that features news briefs on the top stories of the day. Additional information and programming can be found at: http://www.VOANews.com/ukrainian/.

The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.

For more information, please call the Office of Public Affairs at (202) 203-4959, or e-mail publicaffairs@voa.gov.

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