Former President of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma states positive progress in Ukrainian-Russian relations, but he is convinced that they will hardly reach the previous level.

“In 2005, especially in the beginning, Ukrainian government tried to worsen relations with Russia as if on purpose. The first price we paid for this was gas price increase, as this decision was political, first of all,” he said in an interview to “Stolichny novyny” newspaper.

“Now our relations are getting better, but will hardly reach the previous level,” Kuchma considers.

He underlined that “charitable” policy of Russia as regards the former Soviet republics had finished. “It is a decided question for Russians. First of all, they will follow pragmatic considerations. And we, as no one another, must understand it,” Kuchma said.

In response to the question what actions must be done for harmonization of relations with Russia in the political sphere, Kuchma said: “At first, it is needed to get rid of any ulterior motives as regards Russia, and corresponding actions will follow, as it were, automatically.”

“We do not have future without close cooperation with Russia in the sphere of economy. Is it so hard to understand? Let’s look at warm relations between “old” Europe and Russia. Is it merely due to respect to President Putin? To my mind, it is due to respect to innumerable reserves of Russia’s raw material resources, boundless domestic market and many-many other things. Do you need any other arguments,” Kuchma said.  


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