15 Sep 2009 16:57

Medvedev says his recent letter to Yushchenko achieved its goals

MOSCOW. Sept 15 (Interfax) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he believes that his recent letter to Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko regarding the current crisis in bilateral relations achieved its aims.

"I said everything I wanted to say. Did I achieve my objectives? I think, I have. [The letter] provoked such a response that everyone became interested. This letter caused a mixed reaction, which is normal," Medvedev said at a meeting with Valdai club members in Moscow on Tuesday.

"I addressed my letter directly to my counterpart, the president of Ukraine. I did not address the Ukrainian people, as some officials tried to interpret. My goal was not to explain myself to the elite - either Russian or Ukrainian," the president said.

Medvedev said he had received letters saying that "such discussions need to be held using diplomatic language."

"This is normal. But, sometimes, a direct and honest address free of diplomatic etiquette is needed. I am satisfied both with what I said and the reaction I received," he said.

"I have spoken to Ukrainian colleagues, a large number of whom do not support Yushchenko. I have heard many flattering words. These people have said that the letter provoked a huge outcry," Medvedev said.

"Although moderators obviously monitor websites [such as the president's video blog], nevertheless, it is possible to come to a conclusion whether the objectives of this communication have been achieved or not," the president said.

"I wanted to draw attention to this unprecedented level of degradation in our relations with Ukraine. It could have been caused by very complex or very simple reasons. This is one such case. The reason is simple: my Ukrainian counterpart took certain political decisions that pursued such goals," he said.

"It is not my task to judge whether or not Viktor Yushchenko has reached his objectives in the economy, which is unlikely, but the political goal has been achieved - he has managed to make Russian-Ukrainian relations plunge to this unprecedentedly low level," Medvedev said.

The letter to Yushchenko was not aimed at "influencing the political landscape in Ukraine," the Russian president said.

"I do not think it is possible to influence the domestic political situation in another country. The resource of this influence is also quite limited," he added.