If elected the president, Viktor Yanukovych, the leader of the opposition Party of Regions, is planning to carry out a pragmatic and balanced foreign policy, he said this in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda in Ukraine newspaper, UKRINFORM reported.

"Ukraine must have its unique face. I would like this face be confident, deserved and happy. That is why we will be pursuing a pragmatic and balanced foreign policy. We will be further developing Eurointegration process. But it must be based on modernizations and transformations inside Ukraine," Yanukovych said.

The presidential runner underlined "I understand full well that Europe is not waiting for us with open arms. So we must raise the living standards by ourselves so that they become the European standards'.

Asked by reporters about NATO accession or joining the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Yanukovych said "Surely, Ukraine has been and will be a non-aligned state, like it is today. We will intend to join neither NATO nor CSTO. We will preserve a neutral status'.

He added that 'we are ready to consider an initiative of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on the creation of a new European collective security system'.

Yanukovych also said that in relations with Russia and other CIS countries his team would consider 'joining the Common Economic Space based on the principles 3+1 (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan + Ukraine) and based on the principles of the World Trade Organization'.

Besides, Ukraine should become a reliable partner in gas relations both of Russia and the European Union," Yanukovych underscored.


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