The two leaders also exchanged views on the implementation of joint projects in energy, space, aviation, shipbuilding, transportation, agriculture and military technical cooperation.
Dmitry Medvedev and Viktor Yanukovych paid particular attention to the prospects of expanding contacts in trade and the economy, creating a favourable environment for the two countries’ businesses and enhancing investment cooperation.
The agenda of the talks includes strengthening the legal terms on which Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is stationed in Ukraine, as well as cultural and humanitarian aspects of bilateral cooperation.
Viktor Yanukovych arrived in Sochi on a working visit at Dmitry Medvedev’s invitation.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Mr Yanukovych, it is a pleasure to welcome you to Sochi.
Summer is a good time to touch base on various issues – our agenda is very extensive – and to prepare for the Interstate Commission meeting. We both agreed that the Commission’s meeting should be organised at a very high level, both literally and figuratively, and mark a new page in Russian-Ukrainian cooperation.
On the whole, I believe that everything is developing very well. If we look at the figures, the increase in trade last year and in the first six months of this year is very good. But this does not mean that there are no problems; there are plenty and I propose that we concentrate on them because that is the main objective of your visit.
We will also discuss the development of integration processes taking place with the participation of the Russian Federation, and the possibility of Ukraine acceding to these processes, if Ukraine considers it expedient.
We can talk about gas cooperation, which has traditionally been difficult, but this matter cannot be avoided. Let's also look at regional cooperation and the international agenda. We must think about the final resolution of the state border issue. In general, we have a lot to talk about, and I think that our conversation should be frank, straightforward and friendly – just as it has always been.
I am very glad to see you and I hope that we can discuss all the topics of interest to us today.
”On the whole, the relations between Russia and Ukraine are developing very well. But this does not mean that there are no problems; there are plenty and I propose that we concentrate on them because that is the main objective of your visit.“
President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych: Thank you, Mr Medvedev.
First of all, I would like to thank you for your invitation to meet during your holiday and to do some work.
Dmitry Medvedev: For us holidays are a very relative notion.
Viktor Yanukovych: You can’t have a holiday without doing any work.
Sochi is very attractive for Ukraine right now because you will host Winter Olympics here in February 2014. I am very grateful for this opportunity: the experts who have accompanied me on this visit and myself have toured all the Olympic facilities with great interest and studied your approaches to tackling various complex issues. This is a very valuable experience for us. I don’t think you have fully realised yourself the importance of this event for the region’s development. You made a very bold move, and everything you have pulled off so far is very impressive.
Dmitry Medvedev: Pulled off in a good way.
Viktor Yanukovych: You will come to understand in 2014 what should have been done, what you hadn’t had time to do and what will still be left to do in the future.
From the perspective of hosting the Olympic Games in Ukraine – as you know, we have submitted a bid to host the Olympic Games in 2022 and called the project Olympic Hope 2022 – this experience is very valuable for us, especially since next year we will be hosting the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (UEFA EURO 2012). I think that we will enjoy the matches together.
Dmitry Medvedev: Especially if our teams perform well.
Viktor Yanukovych: In any case the final match will be interesting to watch, hopefully with the participation of our teams.
Dmitry Medvedev: We have some problems with our team.
Viktor Yanukovych: The ball is round, as they say, and it will show the way.
As for current issues and traditions that became established in the past eighteen months, we are actively building up and supporting the constructive approach to addressing many issues which lies at the heart of our relationship, taking into account our friendly, old, neighbourly traditions, the wishes of Ukrainian and Russian people, and a huge sense of amity between our nations. We have always sought and will continue to seek solutions to any problems: it is our shared destiny.
The $50 billion trade turnover which we believe we will reach this year is a serious achievement. It is the result, among other things, of the correct decisions we have made in the recent period. As always, there are outstanding problems, but it is a natural process in our relationship. I am determined to seek and find solutions.