KIEV, August 11 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian-Russian trade grew 1.6 times in the first sixth months of this year, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov told reporters on Wednesday.
“Russian-Ukrainian relations develop dynamically this year. Trade turnover grew 1.6 times in the first half of the year, and I believe we can achieve some 50 billion dollars by the end of the year. This is the level of trade that our presidents agreed upon,” Azarov said at a session of the Ukrainian-Russian forum Second Wave of Global Crisis and Prospects for Ukrainian-Russian Economic Relations.
Thus, the prime minister confirmed the words of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who said earlier that trade between Ukraine and Russia would exceed 50 billion dollars in 2011.
Azarov also emphasized the importance of economic cooperation between Ukraine and Russia in connection with the threat of a second wave of the global financial crisis. He said there are optimistic forecasts that the world will not be hit by a new wave of the crisis. “However there are certain risks and doubts,” he added.
“And in this situation mutual support and mutual assistance of our two major economies would be extremely important,” the prime minister emphasized.
According to him, Ukraine could closer cooperate with Russia and other countries of the Customs Union in certain economic sectors within the framework of a common economic space.
“Our export potential is approximately 24 million tons of grain. As far as I known, it is some 35 million tons in Russia. Kazakhstan has export possibilities of 15 million tons. If we sum this up, we will get a major share of the world market. This suggests the question: how is it easier to get to that market – together or separately,” he stressed.
According to the prime minister, Ukrainian-Russian relations have aggravated a bit over the recent time, first of all in connection with the setting up of the Customs Union and the format of Ukraine’s participation in it.
Nevetheless, trade and economic relations between the countries developed rather positively in the first half of the year, the Ukrainian prime minister emphasized.