Yanukovich, Medvedev to discuss Ukrainian-Russian relations

KIEV, August 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s working visit to Russia on Thursday, August 11, is a logical continuation of the frank and trusting dialogue that has been established between the leaders of the two countries, a high-ranking official said.

The Head of the Main Department for International Relations in the Ukrainian residential administration, Andrei Goncharuk, said on Wednesday, August 10, “The discussion will focus mainly on further development of mutually advantageous trade and economic cooperation, the implementation of joint projects, including in the context of preparations for the Winter Olympic Games of 2014 in Sochi and the Euro-2012 finals in Ukraine, as well as the national project Olympic Hope-2022.”

The Ukrainian leader and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will discuss the preparation of the 5th meeting of the Ukrainian-Russian interstate commission and the 2nd Ukrainian-Russian inter-regional economic forum in Donetsk.

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

The Ukrainian president will also study Russia’s Olympic experience.

It will be an informal meeting with no fixed agenda. The two leaders are expected to touch upon integration processes in the Commonwealth of Independent States with the participation of Russia and Ukraine, the Customs Union created by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and their Common Economic Space, as well as gas issues and the Black Sea Fleet.

Ukraine cooperates with Russia within the CIS, has the status of observer in the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) and the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism (EAG).

Yanukovich said Russia remains a strategic partner of his country.

“Russia was and is our strategic partner. 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,” he said.

Russia is a leading trade partner of Ukraine and accounts for more than 30 percent of its foreign trade turnover. In 2010, trade turnover reached 42 billion U.S. dollars and may be brought to 50 billion U.S. dollars this year.

Trade and economic relations between Russia and Ukraine are dominated by cooperation in the fields of fuel and energy, machine-building, and ferrous metallurgy. Bilateral relations are based on the agreement on economic cooperation up to 2020 that was signed in June 2011.

The talks in Sochi can also touch upon the need to further strengthen the legal framework for the presence of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Ukraine.

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