Petro Poroshenko, who has been appointed Ukraine's Foreign Minister on Friday, October 9, says relations between Ukraine and Russia should be pragmatic and mutually beneficial.

"The relations will be based on mutual respect for the two states' sovereignty," he told the press in Verkhovna Rada on Friday.

According to him, Russia is an important strategic partner for Ukraine. "We've accumulated rather good previous experience of interaction with Russia. I think that it will be realized now," Poroshenko underlined, who had been denied Russia entry in 2007 when he arrived there on a private visit.

The minister also noted that the Ukrainian Constitution envisages no foreign military bases, 'representatives of armed forces of any other sates' in the territory of Ukraine. According to Poroshenko, the deployment of the US missile defense system is unconstitutionally just because of that.

At the same time, he called the European course as Ukraine's 'main direction'. The newly appointed minister also stated that he will demand the government to boost spending for diplomacy, as 'today's situation in the embassies is very difficult'. He initially wants that the Cabinet allocate around USD 2 million, but this, in his words, 'is the first step so far'.

Poroshenko also said that every day of his work as a minister will be effective and he has immediately left for the CIS Summit in Chisinau to take up his duties there.

Ukraine's parliament approved on Friday National Bank Council head Petro Poroshenko as foreign minister.

Poroshenko was nominated by Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. The Ukrainian leader is his daughters' godfather.

Ukraine has not had a top diplomat since former foreign minister Volodymyr Ohryzko was dismissed on March 3.


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