Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko with his wife Kateryna Yushchenko greeted visiting Finnish President Tarja Kaarina Halonen and her husband Pentti Arajarvi in the square in front of the presidential secretariat in Kyiv on Wednesday, Kyiv Post reported.

The anthems of the two states were played and the members of the two countries' delegations were introduced, Yushchenko's press service said.

After the welcoming ceremony, the two presidents' meeting started.

Ukraine's Acting Foreign Minister Volodymyr Khandohiy and Deputy Head of Presidential Secretariat Andriy Honcharuk are also taking part in the meeting.

"We hope that your visit will mark an important stage in the development of our relations. We need a bilateral dialog very much," Yushchenko said on opening the meeting.

Later, talks between the Ukrainian and Finnish delegations under the chairmanship of the two presidents will be held. Yushchenko and Halonen will then give a joint press conference.


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