After a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin Victor Yushchenko said Ukraine and Russia were building new bilateral relations, presidential press office reported.

“I am deeply convinced that Ukraine and Russia are building qualitatively new relations which make our countries timely and relevantly solve controversial and complicated problems,” he said and then added that our relations “are becoming more predictable, transparent, and mutually beneficial.”

Commenting on a recently signed gas agreement between Ukraine and Russia, the President expressed confidence that “after those dramatic events the both sides managed to compromise.”

“That was not easy to come to this agreement but I can firmly say that we gave up feudal relations and suspicions that Russia sells its gas at half-price while Ukraine transits it at half-price,” he added, thanking all participants of the talks “for that political dialogue we had while settling the gas conflict.”

Then Yushchenko said during the meeting with his Russian counterpart they had discussed bilateral cooperation. He pointed out that the sides had agreed that a trade and economic committee, headed by the two premiers, would start its work in the first quarter of this year. Yushchenko added that a special commission would soon start to demarcate the Ukrainian-Russian land border. In 2006, the commission will be asked to accelerate talks to demarcate the Kerch Strait and to prepare an agreement on the Ukrainian-Russian state border in the Azov and Black Sea.

The President also said he and Putin had discussed the stationing of the Russian fleet in Ukraine and considered ways to cooperate in the field of nuclear energy.     


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