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KIEV, October 22 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who is currently in Cuba on a visit, is meeting with Fidel Castro, the Ukrainian presidential press service reported on Saturday.
“The meeting is holding in the tete-a-tete format,” the press service reported. No details are available yet.
On Thursday evening, October 20, Yanukovich arrived in Cuba on a state visit. He held talks with head of the State Council and chairman of the Council of Ministers Raul Castro. Yanukovich and Castro discussed the development of relations between Ukraine and Cuba. They noted that relations developed excellently. The leaders of the two countries also discussed international issues.
On Friday, Yanukovich took part in the Ukrainian-Cuban business forum. Speaking at the forum, Yanukovich said Kiev and Havana had a considerable potential for the development of bilateral cooperation and trade relations.
The Ukrainian president said he is hopeful that his visit “will make it possible to consolidate the existing achievements and create prerequisites for bringing Ukrainian-Cuban relations to a new qualitatively level”.
In particular, Yanukovich said Ukraine attached great significance to relations with Cuba.
“We have come here to give a fresh impetus to our trade and economic relations, to find ways and mechanisms of their realization,” he stressed.
According to the Ukrainian president, the current trade turnover between the two countries “does not reflect real possibilities” and has a vast potential for further growth. “I hope my visit to Cuba will make it possible to consolidate our achievements and create conditions for bringing the Ukrainian-Cuban relations to a new level of mutually beneficial partnership,” he stressed. He also praised Cuba for taking effort to improve the national economic model as a “favourable factor” encouraging a broader representation of the two countries’ companies on the markets of each other.
He also highly assessed the results of the tenth session of the intergovernmental commission for trade and economic and research cooperation that was held here in November 2010. “Expanding such cooperation is in line with the strategic goals of both states,” he stressed.
In the presence of the Ukrainian president, Ukraine’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Cuba’s Chamber of Commerce signed an agreement on the establishment of the Ukrainian-Cuban Business Council. “We have certain experience and good prospects in various industries,” vice president of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Valery Bely told Russian journalists. In his words, most promising cooperation areas include rail car building, aircraft building, the automotive industry, and “everything related to repairs and maintenance of such machinery,” and medicine.