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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Yanukovych, I sincerely welcome you once again. We have completed our multilateral meeting, and now we are continuing a conversation about our bilateral affairs. Just as always, there is much to discuss.
Today, I suggest we begin by focusing on issues of energy cooperation, certainly including parameters for gas trade cooperation, not just for the immediate future but also within a medium-range timeframe, in order to understand how Russia and Ukraine can not only trade gas, but also work as partners in this domain, since we have been discussing it for a long time. There are various approaches to getting this kind of partnership up and running. I believe the time has come to do it; in my view, it would be advantageous for the people of Russia and the people of Ukraine.
As far as the specific issues are concerned, I think we could begin these talks by inviting our colleagues who are responsible for the corresponding issues. Subsequently, I think these matters should be overviewed by our governments who are ready to do so.
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych: Thank you, Mr Medvedev. First of all, I would like to once again thank you for a perfectly-organised informal summit – the 20th anniversary summit. Indeed, it is imperative that you and I have these talks, because we have listened to our colleagues and it is clear that we have a wide range of areas where we traditionally cooperate; however, the depth of our integration does not currently correspond to the organisational parameters and reforms that exist today. So we need to think about it.
Certainly, a great deal depended on Russia in deciding to create a free trade zone. The fact that you made this decision – this is a historical decision that inspires everyone, I should say. But we are to think about how to synchronise our ratification processes.
Dmitry Medvedev: We talked about this today. No doubt, you can be sure that we will try to act simultaneously.
Viktor Yanukovych: Please take on the responsibility for this coordination.
As for energy-related issues, they are very wide-ranging. We have good momentum in our mutual relations on nuclear energy issues, and in our view, our companies are working efficiently and we have good prospects for cooperation.
Naturally, we would like to look into electrical energy issues in terms of transporting electricity and properly using time zones. I would like to ask you to give relevant instructions to your energy minister, to the administrators of your electrical grid, because both our nations have this problem. I constantly have meetings like this at the administrative level, and they say, ‘Yes, we need some kind of organisational beginning, because we do not have the capacities for the daily adjustments and supply of high-quality electrical energy’. Russia also has problems like this. So this is a relevant topic.
Certainly, we have the traditional issue of gas. You and I agreed at our last meeting that we would promote proper conditions for talks between the governments of Ukraine and Russia, and our governments have set appropriate working groups. Our working group is headed by Fuel and Energy Minister Yury Boiko, as you know, and yours is headed by Alexei Miller, the Gazprom CEO. I learned today that they are continuing these talks.
Dmitry Medvedev: Yes they are.
Viktor Yanukovych: Today, I had a brief telephone conversation with Yury Boiko, and I told him to wait for the Russian Prime Minister. It is my understanding that Mr Putin is arriving today. And it is certainly very important that this work is completed.
We aim not only to complete these talks, but also to transform them into medium-term plans, so that we can resolve some of the issues now, this year, and make certain strategic decisions. In the future, of course, we will need to deepen cooperation in the gas sector. What you said today makes me happy; we have established a mutual understanding, and as a result, we have prospects for coming to an agreement. I hope that we will be able to do this today.
Dmitry Medvedev: Let’s cover the key positions, and then give instructions to our governments to complete this work, if we are able to come to an agreement on all the key conditions – again, I emphasise, all the key conditions. Agreed?
Viktor Yanukovych: Very well.
Dmitry Medvedev: Thank you.