Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych held a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Tuesday in Kyiv, the president's press office reported.

The Ukrainian President praised the attention the Government of Russia and Prime Minister Putin dedicate to the development of relations between our countries. He drew particular attention to the fact that last year, the trade turnover between Ukraine and Russia reached almost $42 billion, nearly $2 billion more than in the pre-crisis 2008.

Already in the first quarter of 2011, the trade turnover between our countries has increased by 55% compared with the corresponding period last year (this figure was $7.2 billion).

During the meeting, which took place on the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's space flight, the sides paid particular attention to the prospects of cooperation between Ukraine and Russia in missile and space sector. "The fact that in their time our countries made together will be remembered for many generations. But we should remember by deeds," Yanukovych said, noting that the successful history of working together in the space sector requires to operate effectively in this area in the future.

Viktor Yanukovych has also welcomed Vladimir Putin's decision on Vice-Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov’s participation in the celebration of the 90th anniversary of birth of Georgy Beregovoy, famous soviet cosmonaut, to be held this week in Ukraine.

"Your decision will surely serve to improve and strengthen our humanitarian ties," he said.

For his part, the Prime Minister of Russia has conveyed best wishes from President Dmitry Medvedev to the President of Ukraine. He said that everything being done by Russia on the Ukrainian direction is a harmonious policy of the President, the Prime Minister, and all public authorities.

Referring to the subject of rocket-space cooperation, Prime Minister Putin has agreed that Ukraine and Russia have good prospects in that area. .

According to Vladimir Putin, Ukraine and Russia should also take a broader look at their cooperation in science. "You know about our project to build a new spaceport in the Russian Far East, the Vostochny Cosmodrome. We could involve Ukrainian experts in the first steps to implement this program," he said.

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