Medvedev congratulates Yanukovich on birthday.

9/7 Tass 107

MOSCOW, July 9 (Itar-Tass) — President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich on his birthday on Saturday, July 9.

“Thanks to the reforms you are engineering, Ukraine is steadily proceeding along the way of improving its state and democratic institutions, along the way of sustainable economic development and better social welfare. Your constructive and committed approach to pressing issues of regional and global politics promotes the country’s authority on the world arena,” Medvedev said in his congratulatory message.

“I highly appreciate your contribution to the development of Russian-Ukrainian friendly and good-neighbourly relations. The strive for a full realisation of the powerful potential of the historic and spiritual unity of the Russian and Ukrainian nations opens up wide prospects for comprehensive interstate collaboration. The agreements between the two countries on large-scale projects in the trade and economic, investment, humanities, and other spheres are a reliable basis for such work. I am confident that the intensive and fruitful political dialogue will continue to play a significant role in the dynamic development of bilateral relations, in consolidating integration cooperation within the Commonwealth of Independent States,” the message said.

Medvedev also telephoned Yanukovich to wish him a happy birthday, success and well-being. The Ukrainian president turned 61.

The two leaders discussed the preparation for the upcoming meeting of the interstate commission and bilateral cooperation.

Yanukovich earlier expressed confidence that the upcoming fifth meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian interstate commission would become a milestone in the bilateral political dialogue.

Yanukovich spoke positively of trade turnover between the two countries and stressed the importance of keeping it growing.

Yanukovich said earlier that Russia remains a strategic partner of his country.

“Russia was and is our strategic partner,” he said. “We are looking for mechanisms of cooperation and we think that we can reach an agreement that will allow us to cooperate with the Customs Union (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus) to the degree to which Ukrainian laws and our obligations to international organisations such as the WTO allow us.”

Restoration of Russian-Ukrainian relations in 2010 and the end of confrontation gave a serious impetus to bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Last year, Russian-Ukrainian trade turnover increased by 61.8 percent for 2009 to 37.1 billion U.S. dollars, including Russian export worth 23.1 billion U.S. dollars (increase of 67.1 percent) and import worth of 14.1 billion U.S. dollars (up 53.8 percent). Trade with Ukraine grew faster than Russia’s foreign trade in general.

Ukraine accounted to 4.9 percent in Russia’s trade turnover in 2009 and increased to 5.9 percent in 2010 and to 7.8 percent in January 2011. Ukraine became the fifth largest trade partner of Russia in 2010 after China, the Netherlands, Germany, and Italy, and the biggest one in the CIS.

In January 2011, Ukraine was already third after China and Germany. Russia’s share in Ukraine’s trade turnover in 2010 increased to 31.7 percent, including in to 26.1 percent (21.4 percent in 2009) the export of Ukrainian goods and to 36.5 percent (29.1 percent in 2009) in import.

Russia is the most attractive importer of Ukrainian products. For example, Russia buys almost three times as much machinery in Ukraine than in does in the 27 EU countries. Some Ukrainian products – alumina, ferrochromium, large-diameter pipes, and some equipment – are vital for the Russian economy. In turn, stable energy supplies from Russia are an important factor for the development of Ukraine’s industry and agriculture.

Ukraine is one of the main capital investment market for Russian businessmen. As of January 1, 2011, Russia had invested 1.089 million U.S. dollars in the Ukrainian economy. Russian investors in Ukraine include state-owned and private corporations, the biggest of which are Gazprom, RusAl, LUKOIL, Tatneft, TNK-BP, SUAL Holding, VimpelCom, MTS, AFK Sistema, Wimm-Bill-Dann, and others.

Accumulated direct Ukrainian investments in Russia as of January 1, 2011 stood at 199 million U.S. dollars. Most of them were made in the processing industry and the financial sector. Ukrainian investors also commit their capital to Russia’s pulp-and-paper industry, ferrous metallurgy, machine-building, and metal-working enterprises.

Promising bilateral projects include the construction of reactors 3 and 4 at the Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant, space industry (carrier rockets, navigation support using GLONASS, fundamental space research, joint experiments, including in the Russian segment of the International Space Station), construction, modernisat6ion and marketing of An-148 and An-124 planes.

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