Ukrainian industrial hub Dnipropetrovsk may not be on many Americans' mind maps, nor does the name exactly trip off the tongue, but legendary American TV host Larry King spoke up for the region on his current tour of Ukraine, before praising Prime Minister Mykola Azarov for reminding him of former peanut farmer and US president Jimmy Carter.
Politicians around Europe may be wringing their hands over what is claimed to be the rollback of democracy in Ukraine by President Viktor Yanukovych and the ruling party of regions, and the population may be weary of the industrial interests that wield so much influence, but King apparently has no such reservations.
Hired as an 'advisor' by Canada's Black Iron - which has mining assets in the country - King has been extolling the virtues of investment in the country's industrial heartland. "Dnipropetrovsk region is very interesting to investors and has great development potential. Its natural resources and developed human potential make it one of the most attractive areas for making investments," King declared recently, according to a press release from the regional government.
Earlier the veteran talk-show host met with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, to whom he also gave a good write up. "After the interview, I told my wife that he would have been a successful US politician," he said - a double barb if ever there was one, surely?
"As for who he reminded me of, he's a bit like Jimmy Carter," King continued. "He looks good, and it's easy to meet with him." Asked about Azarov's opinion of jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, King said "he likes her and he feels sorry for her."
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