Accusations made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that Kiev carries out anti-Russian policies were aimed at Ukraine and not just President Viktor Yushchenko, his senior aide said on Wednesday.
Medvedev on Tuesday warned energy security in the region was at risk due to Yushchenko’s policies toward Russia, in comments interpreted by Ukrainian analysts as a sign of Moscow’s intrusion in a presidential election race next year.
“The young leadership of Russia is turning into a hostage of old imperial complexes, which constantly needs to cherish the idea of a foreign enemy and substitute equal dialogue with all neighboring states with a language of threats and insults,” Yushchenko’s chief of staff, Vera Ulyanchenko, said.
“The aggressive tone in the statements made by the Russian leader concerns not just Viktor Andriyivich Yushchenko and his policies, but our entire state and nation,” she said in a statement on their party’s Web site.
Yushchenko so far has failed to comment on Medvedev’s charges. The Ukrainian president, swept to power during the pro-Western 2004 “Orange Revolution,” is unlikely to win re-election in the vote on January 17.
Viktor Yanukovich, opposition leader and the Moscow-backed presidential candidate who lost out in the Orange Revolution, now leads the opinion polls followed by Yushchenko’s former ally turned bitter rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Yanukovich vowed to return ties with Moscow — strained by Yushchenko’s bid for NATO membership and insistence that Russia vacate its Black Sea Fleet port in 2017 — back to normal.
Tymoshenko has made no comment so far and rarely makes statements on foreign policy, which is Yushchenko’s remit.