Barroso pressures Ukrainian president, premier to work together
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Wednesday pressured Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko to work together at a time of economic crisis, Xinhua reported.
"We know that the economic and financial crises have not spared Ukraine and that Ukraine is now facing very serious economic and social challenges," Barroso told reporters after a meeting with Yushchenko.
"When one country faces so difficult economic and social challenges, the duty of all responsible politicians is to work together for the common good of this country," he said.
He said he has conveyed this message to Yushchenko in their meeting and that he would also convey this same message to Tymoshenko when she comes to Brussels for an international conference on Ukraine next Monday.
Barroso said it is vital that Ukraine complies with the commitments agreed in the context of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan package.
Ukraine has struck a deal with the IMF on a 16.4-billion-U.S.- dollar loan to tackle the impact of the world financial crisis. But the IMF is withholding the release of the loan's second tranche, setting out conditions, including the reduction of Ukraine's budget deficit.
Yushchenko on Wednesday promised to cooperate with the IMF. "It is very important to resume cooperation with the IMF," he told the same press conference with Barroso.
"After we settle our relations with the IMF, which I hope will happen in the coming days, we will cooperate with the European Investment Bank, the EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), with the European Commission and others," he said.