During a meeting Tuesday with the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Agency, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said that he will not give anti-Semites room to operate in his country, Israeli daily Ma’ariv reports.
Hosting the Board in Kiev, Yanukovych told Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky of the need to eradicate all expressions of political anti-Semitism in the media.
Much has been made of the Svoboda (“Freedom”) political party, whose overtly anti-Semitic platform reached a crescendo earlier this year when one party official verbally attacked Ukrainian-born actress Mila Kunis. In the Ukraine’s 2012 Presidential election, Svoboda won a surprising 10.44 percent of the national vote and 38 out of 450 parliamentary seats.
But Yanukovych stressed the warm relations between the country and its Jewish population, which numbers more than 70,000.
“[The] Ukrainian Jewish community is very important in an historic sense and in the sense of connection with Israel,” he said.
He further added that the “hosting of the Jewish Agency demonstrates the high dynamics of Ukrainian-Israeli relations.”