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Newly inaugurated President Yushchenko (file photo) Strasbourg, 25 January 2005 -- Ukraine's new president, Viktor Yushchenko, told the Council of Europe today that he will do all he can to make the country's democratic changes "irreversible."

The 46-country organization was set up after World War II to promote human rights and democracy.

Yushchenko also said today that the European Union strategy must include the prospect of Ukraine's membership.

Yushchenko was in Russia yesterday and is to address the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 January.

In his inaugural address on 23 January, Yushchenko said that his country's place is in the European Union.

EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner told the European Parliament today that the EU should not rush into what she called "premature steps" to admit Ukraine.

(AFP/Reuters)
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