Thursday, February 25, 2010
Yanukovych sworn in as Ukraine president
Viktor Yanukovych has sworn in as Ukraine's new president, amid speculations that he will seek closer ties with Moscow.
"I, Viktor Yanukovych, elected president of Ukraine by the will of the people, swear the oath of loyalty to Ukraine," he said at a ceremony in parliament attended by a host of foreign dignitaries.
"I vow to defend through my actions the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and the rights and freedoms of its citizens," he said.
As the supporters of Yanukovych's electoral rival, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko left their seats empty, the new president vowed to tackle Ukraine's economic problems and lead the country out of the crisis.
Tymoshenko has accused Yanukovych of winning the election through fraud and refused to attend the ceremony in the parliament.
"Yanukovich, who came to power by lies, is not our president and he will not last long," she declared in a fiery televised broadcast on Monday.
The 49-year-old premier added that she would not "under any circumstance create a coalition with Yanukovich."
The newly sworn in president has called on Tymoshenko to resign gracefully after her narrow defeat by a margin of some 3.5 percent in the February 7 presidential elections. But the charismatic prime minister has refused to budge.