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Yushchenko Says He Wants Ukraine To Join EU

(file photo) 8 December 2004 -- Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko has said that if he is elected president he would make winning admittance to the European Union a top priority.

Yushchenko said in an interview with "The Washington Post" his government would hold accountable those responsible for political and economic crimes allegedly linked to the administration of current President Leonid Kuchma, including the killing of a journalist.

Yushchenko praised his supporters for winning a victory after parliament passed legislation in a bid to resolve a crisis over last month's disputed presidential election.

A substantial parliamentary majority backed the changes enacted to prevent electoral fraud that caused last month's poll to be annulled by the Supreme Court. Deputies also voted to restructure the central election commission as well as to curb some of the powers of the president.

In a repeat election tentatively scheduled for 26 December, Yushchenko will face Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, the winner of the discredited 21 November runoff.

(LA Times/AP/Reuters)

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