President Viktor Yushchenko has urged Ukrainians to re-elect him in January, warning that rival candidates would reverse his efforts to integrate into Europe.
Speaking after the 13th EU-Ukraine summit on Friday, Yushchenko said the January 17 vote will represent a key juncture in the country's political course.
"Either Ukraine asserts itself as a European country, or 'the fifth column' will arrive," Yushchenko said, using a Spanish Civil War term referring to a group of people undermining their own county with support from an outside enemy.
His presidential rivals, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and former premier Viktor Yanukovych, are both widely viewed as being on better terms with the Russian leadership than the pro-Western Yushchenko.
Yushchenko accused his rivals of wanting to "live in the past."
Tymoshenko, an ally-turned-rival of the incumbent president, and Yanukovych, the president's opponent in the controversial 2004 race, are currently well ahead of the incumbent leader in opinion polls. Yushchenko's approval ratings remain in single digits.
KIEV, December 4 (RIA Novosti)