In his address, the Russian head of state said that the past decade had seen Russia’s and Ukraine’s growth into influential democracies, powerful European states, countries that consistently promote integration into European processes.
Russia highly values its neighbourly relations with Ukraine, which it considers its reliable friend and business partner, President Putin said. The economic, technical and cultural infrastructures serve as a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation. Public and business partnership, which is gaining momentum, is becoming more significant.
The Year of Ukraine in Russia is a significant event for the 200 million people living on the territory from the Carpathians to the Pacific Ocean, Mr Putin said.
Mr Kuchma suggested holding the Year of Russia in Ukraine in 2003.