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ATHENS, October 6 (Itar-Tass) — Ukraine and Greece must help each other in times of trouble, visiting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said at talks with Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Thursday.
“We know that Greece and the Greek people are going through difficult times,” Yanukovich said. “And Ukraine is also facing hard times, we also find ourselves at a critical stage. But we have decided to pay a visit to Greece, understanding that it is in times of trouble that support and mutual assistance are needed,” he stressed.
“Thus we will continue the old tradition of mutual assistance and support,” he added. The Greek president, for his part, stressed that this visit is a major stage in the development of bilateral relations.
“Last time when we met we took a joint decision to give an active impetus to relations between Greece and Ukraine,” the president said. “This visit confirms and fixes our bid to comprehensively develop relations between our countries, he added.
Papoulias stressed that Greek-Ukrainian relations have a long history. “Greece owes a lot to Ukraine, the wind of our liberation fight (for independence from the Ottoman Empire) came from Odessa, and major Greek philanthropists lived and achieved success in your hospitable country,” the president added.
During his visit, Yanukovich will meet with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, parliament Speaker Filippos Petsalnikos and the chairman of the main opposition centre-right New Democracy Party, Antonis Samaras, as well as will take part together with the Greek president in the economic forum on “Cooperation between Ukraine and Greece in the epoch of the global economic crisis: practical possibilities and prospects for cooperation”.