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KIEV, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday rejected accusations of anti-Russian policies made by Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev in an open letter on Tuesday.
Medvedev’s comments, in which he also said he wanted to see a leader in Ukraine who was easier to deal with, marked a new downturn in relations between the countries and was seen as an attempt to influence Ukraine’s presidential election.
“I will be frank, I am very disappointed with its unfriendly character,” Yushchenko said of Medvedev’s letter.
“I cannot disagree that there are serious problems in relations between our countries, but it is surprising that the Russian president completely shrugs off Russia’s responsibility for this,” Yushchenko said in a statement.
Yushchenko, propelled to power by the 2004 pro-Western “Orange Revolution” has irritated Moscow with his bid for Ukraine’s NATO membership and insistence that Russia vacates the Black Sea Fleet based in the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
His aide said on Wednesday Russia was stuck in its imperial past and seemed to relish bullying and insulting its neighbours.
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