Speaking at a joint press conference with Prime Miniter of Canada Stephen Harper, President Viktor Yanukovych congratulated him on the long-awaited visit to Ukraine, according to the presidential press office.

"Ukraine and Canada are linked by humanitarian relations. Canada is home to over 1.2 million Ukrainians. So I would like to emphasize: this is what unites us even more. We are proud that Ukrainians living in Canada are making a positive contribution to this wonderful country.

With Mr. Prime Minister, we have discussed a number of bilateral issues. These are trade-economic and humanitarian relations, our cooperation in international organizations, Ukraine's integration into the European space.

We have also stressed that today’s level of trade and economic relations between Canada and Ukraine, does not meet the potential of our countries – it is very low.

We need to greatly intensify the work of our Governments and will definitely work with business, arrange business conferences both in Ukraine and in Canada.

Ukraine has gone through reforms. This path is difficult and very long. And it is very important for us to use the Canadian experience – it is very interesting for us. So I am sure that the move to liberalize visa regulations we made today is only the first step on this path. In the future we need to greatly intensify this work and achieve visa-free travel between our countries.

We also agreed to foster a significant increase in the number of flights between Canada and Ukraine.

I wish the Prime Minister of Canada, the Canadian people, the Ukrainian diaspora living in Canada, that we strengthened our relations step by step and that nations of Ukraine and Canada lived better with that," Viktor Yanukovych said.

From his part, the Prime Minister of Canada said: "Canada and the Canadians feel deep love for Ukraine and the Ukrainian people." He said that today the Ukrainian community in Canada is the third largest in the world after Russia and Ukraine.

"That is why the Canadians feel particularly proud that Canada has been the first Western country to recognize Ukraine's independence in 1991. Canada has supported and supports the progress of Ukraine towards freedom and democracy," Stephen Harper said.

The Prime Minister said that the intergovernmental Memorandum signed today will allow young people of our countries to travel between Canada and Ukraine and to work on their territories easier.

"I am very pleased to announce that the next round of talks between Ukraine and Canada on free trade will begin December 13 this year” Prime Minster Harper said.

In addition, the parties agreed that transatlantic trade is also very important component for both countries and that they will cooperate in this area.

"This special relationship between our countries is carved in our history. But we must look ahead and work on such Canada and Ukraine, which would continue to cooperate in a bilateral format and in the international arena," the Prime Minister of Canada said.

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