President Putin pointed to the rich educational and cultural traditions of the university and said he was satisfied with the development of contacts between the scientific communities of Russia and Ukraine, including through the university.
Mr Putin shared with the audience his view on the present and future of Russian-Ukrainian relations. He said Russia and Ukraine could succeed only by supporting each other, and their sovereignties should not stand in the way of their diversified cooperation and its expansion.
He said the two countries held similar views on topical world issues, and their assessments of modern challenges and threats, including the danger of spreading of international terrorism, fully coincided.
Mr Putin said the trustful and close relations being built between Russia and Ukraine were based on a spirit of strategic partnership and pan-European values. The two countries’ common interests in oil and gas played a special role in that context. The President said the implementation of joint hydrocarbon transportation projects could restructure Europe’s energy market and make the continent energy secure.
He welcomed Ukraine’s moves towards integration with former Soviet states. He said an important step in that direction could be Kiev’s decision to join EurAsEC, which, in his opinion, would promote free trade between Russia and Ukraine and help debureaucratise their economies.
Kiev Taras Shevchenko University, he said, was Ukraine’s leading educational institution. It enrolled its first students into its philosophy faculty in 1834. Today it has 16 departments and a student body of 20,000. In 1939 it was named after Taras Shevchenko, an outstanding Ukrainian poet.