Beginning of the Discussion with Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich 2006-12-22 22:00:03 Kiev President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Dear Viktor Fedorovich! I have the opportunity to talk with you, the Ukrainian Prime Minister. I am very happy to do so. My dinner with the President [Viktor Yushchenko] just ended. We continued to discuss Russian-Ukrainian cooperation. I am pleased to note that, as I already mentioned at our previous meeting in an expanded format, our volume of trade is growing. And I believe that to a large degree this is thanks to work done by your government. We still need to resolve a number of problems. I know that we are engaged in intensive dialogue in the energy sector, in mechanical engineering, in aviation, the space sector and transport. All of these sectors are crucially important for millions of our citizens, both Ukrainians and Russians. And I am very glad to be able to point out that our work is proceeding constructively and that we have good prospects to resolve all these problems, even though they are hardly simple ones. Their difficulty is not related to political will, but to problems connected with technology, equipment, and the functioning of the market. They require constant attention and a constructive approach. And I hope that you will be able to see developments on these issues during your dialogue with the cabinet of the Russian Federation. Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich: Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich. First and foremost I would like to congratulate both Russia and Ukraine on the event that took place today, namely the first session of the Russian-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission. Both Ukrainian and Russian governments are ready for this session. We held a joint governmental commission session. During preparation for this session the heads of subcommissions from all Russian and Ukrainian economic sectors met. We met in various formats, including in meetings between the heads of various corporations, companies, and Ukrainian and Russian experts. And everywhere we ran into the same question – why was it so quiet for two years, to put it euphemistically? To a large extent negotiations had been carried out in the media. Of course, both of our peoples are wise. They did not lose time and they wanted us to create the necessary conditions for cooperation. And today the dialogue that took place between presidents in practice resolves the political issues that were artificially created for some obscure reasons and goals. It is for this reason that I would say that the Ukrainian government is very much decided to continue engaging in an intensive dialogue, in intensive cooperation with our Russian colleagues. And the Russian government has the same desire. And this is the most important thing – namely that our people have the same desire. Today we discussed major strategic issues. Of course we discussed issues that are linked to the global economy and we must resolve the most pressing ones. Some of them include aircraft manufacturing, developing cooperation in the space sector, as well as the development of our fuel and energy sectors. And we must answer the following question: should we deepen our cooperation and on which basis should we do so? The questions that were raised today were very good ones. Of course we are interested in establishing joint programmes. We are absolutely convinced that we will both benefit from uniting our efforts to develop a joint policy regarding exports to Europe, in the energy sector, in hydroelectricity, in gas and oil extraction, and in transport. We are perfectly aware of this. As for power generation, we can use power flows only because our countries have several time zones. We plan all of this. We have an extensive programme for cooperation and we are going to implement it. And of course our countries’ potential for developing our relations remains huge. Today you were here on a short visit but a great deal happened during this time. And I would like to say that I think that following your visit my colleague, Mikhail Fradkov, and I will not lose any time in beginning to work on the themes and the issues that we agreed on during today’s talks. And I can say this with a great deal of satisfaction because both Ukrainian and Russian peoples are following your visit very attentively. We are very happy. I am glad to welcome you and I certainly would also like to speak separately about several specific issues that, in our opinion, would be worth keeping in mind for the future.