"The talks have confirmed that the development of cooperation and partnership between Russia and Ukraine is our common strategic choice. It relies primarily on the strong bonds of friendship between the two nations, so there is no reasonable alternative to this approach," Putin said after talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the President’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, Moscow.
According to him, such conclusion is evident from the history of Russian-Ukrainian economic relations, as many industries of the two countries are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.
The Russian President said that thousands of companies of the two countries are working directly with each other in the industrial cooperation. He also reminded that Ukraine ranks fourth place among the main foreign trade partners of Russia and the first among the CIS partners.
According to Putin, last year the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 36% to over 50 billion dollars, and countries need to strengthen this trend.
Putin stressed that he and Yanukovych discussed which additional reserves can be used for this purpose and how to reduce the dependence of the two economies on the processes occurring in the world economy.
"Given the high degree of integration of our economies, we will activate projects in the leading fields for Ukraine and Russia. I mean nuclear power, aviation, metallurgy, space," the Russian President said.
According to him, one of the specific projects is the signed protocol on the supply of goods within the industrial cooperation.
Putin explained that the point is to simplify the procedure for mutual deliveries of component parts of equipment in the sectors with a single production chain.
In addition, he noted that the expansion of investment, trade and industrial relations would contribute to removal of barriers obstructing the movement of goods, services, capital and labor.
"Therefore, we have discussed such an important topic as Ukraine's participation in the CIS integration processes," Putin said.
He said that the meeting with Yanukovych had business, friendly and open atmosphere.
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