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KIEV, June 27 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich have said they are ready to discuss gas-related problems at a meeting in Kiev on Wednesday.
“Today, it’s important to sustain progress in those areas of cooperation which we discussed at the presidential and governmental levels. They include technological cooperation and the creation of new productions as well as more complicated issues of energy cooperation, including the gas theme. I am sure that we are going to talk about it today. Naturally, I am going to continue the discussion with Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov,” Medvedev said at the start of the talks.
For his part, Yanukovich described the gas theme as one of the key items on the agenda. “I would like to have a substantial discussion of the issues that are extremely sensitive to us. First of all, it’s our trade and economic relations. Honestly, the gas problem certainly continues to be a source of serious concern for me,” the Ukrainian president said.
He hopes that many of these problems will find a solution during Medvedev’s visit to Kiev.
“As far as I understand the Russian prime minister has arrived to bring his verdict on issues that we are planning to submit to the inter-governmental commission. You know my stance and I am confident that that we will make progress in all spheres,” Yanukovich emphasized. He added that sub-commissions had prepared a sufficient number of proposals on which decisions can be passed.
Yanukovich also hopes that Medvedev’s meeting with Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov will be fruitful.
For his part, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev noted that the agenda of Russian-Ukrainian talks had always been busy and consisted of both positive aspects and complicated issues.
Medvedev said that substantial growth of reciprocal trade that had reached 50 billion dollars in 2011 was a considerable achievement in bilateral relations. At the same time, he noted that it had suffered a slight setback in 2012 and called for taking measures to improve the situation.
Medvedev emphasized that Ukraine remained Russia’s strategic partner. “Our aim is to develop all-round strategic interaction with Ukraine. It is our closest neighbor and partner. For a variety of reasons, we have no grounds to revise our strategic priorities,” Medvedev stressed.
“Yes, there are questions of creation of new integration associations; there are questions related to the economic vector of development. I think that these issues are complicated not because they don’t lend themselves to solution but because they objectively determine the future. I understand why Ukraine has been cautious on many things. Sooner or later, we will have to give answers to problematic issues,” Medvedev said, adding that problems should be solved in a friendly manner.