Press statements following meeting with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych 2012-10-22 17:45:00 President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Ladies and gentlemen, colleagues, Our meeting with President of Ukraine, Mr Yanukovych, was held in a business-like, friendly, honest atmosphere, as is typical for us. Our talks confirmed that the development of cooperation and partnership between Russia and Ukraine is our common, strategic choice. It is based, first and foremost, on the strong bonds of friendship between our peoples, and regardless of the political situation, there is no reasonable alternative to this course. This is clear in the example of Russian-Ukrainian economic ties: many sectors of our industry are interdependent and complementary, with thousands of companies and enterprises working directly within the production cooperation framework. Today, Ukraine is firmly in fourth place among Russia’s main foreign trade partners, and the first among CIS nations. Last year, our mutual trade turnover grew by 36 percent, surpassing $50 billion. We need to maintain and consolidate this trend. We discussed the additional reserves that can be used to achieve this and how to reduce our economies’ dependence on the complicated processes that are underway in the global economy, on global markets. Given the high degree of integration between our economies, we will work more actively on projects in areas where Russia and Ukraine are truly leaders. I am referring to nuclear energy, aircraft manufacturing, metallurgy and aerospace. A concrete step taken in this direction is the protocol signed today on the supply of goods within the production cooperation framework. It is about simplifying the procedures for reciprocal delivery of component parts, materials and equipment in sectors where we are building common production chains as much as possible. Broadening investment, trade and industrial ties would help to remove barriers hindering the movement of goods and services, capital and labour. So during the talks, we also touched on the important topic of Ukraine’s participation in integration processes underway in the CIS. Ukraine was one of the first nations to ratify the CIS Free Trade Zone Agreement. In doing so, we perceive Ukraine as a country with a pragmatic attitude toward strengthening and promoting cooperation and integration. We also discussed humanitarian issues. The Days of Education and Science of the Russian Federation were successfully held one month ago in Kiev. They included presentations of Russia’s leading universities, the latest achievements from Russian educators, and new educational programmes. There was a useful exchange of experience. Another important joint project will be the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great poet Taras Shevchenko in 2014. The President of Ukraine and I agreed to give instructions to our respective governments to begin joint all-around preparations for this anniversary, which is significant to both our nations. In conclusion, I would like to say the following: the parliamentary election campaign is wrapping up in Ukraine, and we sincerely hope that the elections to the Verkhovna Rada will ensure further steady democratic development of the brotherly Ukrainian nation. We hope that after the election, the course toward close cooperation between our nations will gain additional momentum. I would like to thank Mr Yanukovych and all our Ukrainian friends for their constructive approach to all the issues we discussed. President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, We just completed our bilateral talks. I feel that they were quite productive and were held, as always, in a trust-based and constructive environment, an atmosphere of complete mutual understanding. Mr Putin and I discussed nearly the full range of current issues in bilateral cooperation. We noted the enormous potential in Ukraine and Russia’s relations and how it is imperative to focus our efforts on using it to the fullest extent. In particular, it is especially important for our nations to further develop cooperation in areas where we already have good results, i.e., nuclear energy, aircraft manufacturing, aerospace, energy, and other high-tech, science-driven sectors. According to the results from last year, our nations have already surpassed pre-crisis figures in bilateral trade. But we won’t stop there, and we both believe that we should continue taking joint steps to progressively increase our bilateral turnover volume. Our common refusal to apply any restrictive measures in our mutual trade will help us in achieving this goal. We also gave significant attention to issues of bilateral cooperation in energy. In this regard, I would like to stress that we are continuing talks on the so-called gas issue, which is very relevant for Ukraine, and we expect to work out an economically sound, fair formula for establishing gas prices for our nation. Today’s meeting also confirmed mutual understanding of the fact that completing the contractual and legal formalisation of the Russian-Ukrainian state border must be accompanied by a set of measures allowing for the development of existing business contacts, as well as for free travel of citizens between Ukraine and Russia. I would also like to note that the President of Russia and I discussed our desire to maintain active political dialogue, particularly at the highest level. Thus, we had a concrete discussion of the possible schedule for our bilateral contacts in the near future. The success of the Ukrainian-Russian Interregional Economic Forum in Nizhny Novgorod is quite significant in the context of broadening our interregional cooperation. We specifically discussed preparations for this event, which has become a tradition and is held under the patronage of the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Today, we also signed two intergovernmental documents: the agreement on readmission and the protocol on the supply of production cooperation goods. Their implementation will help to intensify Ukrainian-Russian cooperation in two key areas: deepening near-border cooperation and strengthening direct trade and economic ties between the two nations’ enterprises. Overall, the results of today’s meeting have confirmed that both sides are committed to further dynamic development of bilateral relations based on strategic partnership. Thank you for your attention.