Leaders of Russia and Ukraine see no contradiction between the desire of both countries to strengthen ties with Europe and cooperation within the CIS, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov declared.

"Our countries define the priorities of their policy in Europe, but we share a common interest in building a united Europe without dividing lines. That is why we see no contradiction between rapprochement of our countries with European structures and deepening integration within the CIS, as they are two complementary directions of our activities," Lavrov said yesterday, on January 13, before holding talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kozhara.

The Russian foreign minister also noted the high level of relations between Russia and Ukraine at different levels.

He also stressed that Ukraine is the leading trading partner for Russia in the CIS.

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