The German Der Tagesspiegel published an interview with Viktor Yuschenko, President of Ukraine, regarding his views on the EU’s Eastern Partnership initiative, the gas conflict and relations with Russia, Focus reported. Yushchenko hailed the EU’s strategy for Eastern Europe, even though, by his words, “the relations between the EU and Ukraine are not so good”. He looks forward to the signing of an EU Association Agreement with Ukraine by the end of the year that would be “the first step towards EU integration.” Yushchenko claims the EU lacked sufficient courage to respond to the January gas crisis.