Ukraine wants to become a regional leader in eastern Europe, President Viktor Yanukovych said at an international forum in the Ukrainian resort of Yalta on Friday.

Yanukovych made the statement on the second day of the annual forum Yalta European Strategy (YES) devoted to Ukraine.

"We have all the prerequisites to become a regional leader in Eastern Europe and we are moving there with the help of modernization and deeper cooperation with our partners," Yanukovych said, adding he hoped the movement would be mutual, RIA Novosti reported.

Kiev has repeatedly proclaimed European integration as its ultimate goal, and cited Russia and the United States as its strategic partners.

Yanukovych cited expert opinion that the era of the Western domination in the economy, technology and culture was coming to an end, which he said led Ukraine to reconsider its prospects and search for a new niche on the global arena. He also said that Ukraine viewed itself as a European democracy.

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