* * *
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych: Mr President, I want to thank you and the Russian delegation for your active participation in the events to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster.
I've already talked about this and I want to reiterate that it is very important for us to ensure an unbreakable link between generations: those liquidators who saved the situation as far as it was possible 25 years ago, sacrificing their lives, and those who live now.
A new generation has grown up in these past 25 years. The fact that we are now jointly tackling the issue of building a new sarcophagus, the creation of the Chernobyl Shelter Fund (and Russia as our neighbour and partner is taking part in it), has tremendous importance for the people: for those who saved the situation many years ago and for those living today.
Thank you very much once again. I would like us to review the most urgent issues in relations between our countries, as well as the agenda for the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission meeting in June.
Our Governments are preparing for the meeting and I am sure you have the same report on it as I do. There are some issues in which we have made great progress, and this is confirmed by the trade growth from $15 billion in 2009 to nearly $42 billion last year. This is the main result.
”We have been tackling these problems both to eliminate all the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and to make sure that the efforts of a huge number of rescuers and firefighters had not been in vain. We will continue to cooperate on this issue.“
I know that it is difficult to be completely satisfied with one’s achievements, so we could also discuss the problems that exist today and ways to resolve them. Therefore, I would like to welcome you and to thank you, and I think that there are still many issues that we must tackle together.
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr President, this is a special day for both our nations.
Together we have visited the place that became a symbol of a great disaster, the disaster that the people of our shared country fought shoulder to shoulder. The impact of that man-made disaster was successfully minimised due to their selfless efforts and at the cost of many lives. We paid tribute to their memory.
I would like to say that it is our shared grief and our shared problem: it still makes itself felt not only in the Chernobyl zone which is referred to as the affected area, but unfortunately, the effects spread to other parts of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and Belarus.
We have been tackling these problems both to eliminate all the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and to make sure that the efforts of a huge number of rescuers and firefighters had not been in vain. We will continue to cooperate on this issue, providing assistance in the construction of the new shelter and as part of programmes that we discussed.
As for our bilateral agenda, it is as full as ever. You mentioned that interstate consultations will take place soon (in June, I believe), where we will be able to review in detail the instructions issued to our Governments and to see what has been done and what has not been done. We have plenty of subjects to discuss: there are new and unfinished projects, as well as ongoing problems that need to be addressed.
One thing is absolutely certain: our relations have recovered from the crisis, both the crisis between our states and the economic one (unfortunately, they coincided in time), and now the level of trade is much higher, nearing its maximum ever.
This does not mean that we have no matters to talk about. Our teams are busy but problems abound. The Russian delegation is ready for an extended discussion, and today I propose that we touch base on the most urgent topics.