Russian-Ukrainian trade doubled in the first four months of the current year and will soon reach pre-crisis levels, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

"This is the first sign of the drastically improving quality of our relations," he told his Ukrainian counterpart Mykola Azarov, adding it was also a sign that the two countries were emerging from the economic crisis.

"Last year our trade collapsed from $40 billion to $22 billion, but in the first four months of this year it doubled," Putin said, RIA Novosti reported.

Azarov said the growing bilateral trade was a result of the normalization of bilateral relations, especially in the political sphere, as well as efforts to give Russian-Ukrainian cooperation a strategic quality.


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