President Yanukovych spoke today at the session of the UN General Assembly. In his speech, he pledged Ukraine's help in protecting civilians in conflict areas and said that Ukraine would commit resources when necessary to assist with evacuations. He highlighted Ukraine's role in evacuating civilians from Libya and Syria and said that one of the key tasks of the international community was to protect the civilian population in Syria. Though he talked in general terms about the need for united efforts from the international community to achieve this, he did not mention the blocking actions of both Russia and China which have frustrated more direct pressure on the Syrian government to stop the massacre of its people.

He also said that Ukraine would take into account best practice from European democracies in developing its judicial system and said that, during Ukraine's presidency of the Council of Europe in 2013, particular attention would be paid to ongoing negotiations in places like Nagorno Karabakh. He also expressed his hope that fair and transparent elections in Ukraine would smooth the path to stronger relationships with the US. Although he did not have a meeting with President Obama, he did manage to have a photo opportunity with the President and his wife.

To read more, in Ukrainian, click here and in English, here and here.

Around 100 Ukrainians in New York staged a protest against the President's visit, calling for his resignation and carrying banners which urged UN delegates not to believe what Yanukovych said. The demonstration was included in a news item on Ukraine's Kanal 5.

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