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Yanukovych Says Referendum Needed To Join EU, Customs Union

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
President Viktor Yanukovych says a referendum will have to decide whether Ukraine joins the European Union or the Russian-led Customs Union.

But, in a televised interview broadcast on August 30, Yanukovych also pledged that Kyiv will work in the meantime to fulfill all necessary conditions for a November signing of the EU Association Agreement, which includes a free-trade deal.

Yanukovych's statement comes amid Moscow's ongoing attempts to pressure Kyiv to abandon its drive toward the EU.

The Kremlin has been pushing Kyiv to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan instead.

Customs Union member-states launched the so-called Common Economic Space last year, saying the goal is to set up what they describe as a Eurasian economic union modeled after the EU by 2015.

Based on reporting by AFP, UNIAN, and ITAR-TASS