30 april 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov speak at a meeting of the Economic Cooperation Committee under the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission


Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:

Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,

Mr Azarov and I have just finished a restricted meeting, which we will now follow up with a discussion in a broader context at the sixth meeting of the Economic Cooperation Committee under the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission.

I suggest we focus on practical issues related to our cooperation in various areas, including energy, transport, science and agriculture. We need to discuss practical steps to increase border cooperation and interaction between Russian and Ukrainian regions.

Russian and Ukrainian ministries have worked hard to prepare for this meeting. The majority of sub-commissions held appropriate meetings, and the heads of the agencies involved in this work have developed an effective dialogue. The Prime Minister of Ukraine and I have also been in close contact. This is the fifth time we have met, to the best of my knowledge.

I have no doubt we will arrive at a promising new agreement today that clearly outlines the priorities for Russian-Ukrainian strategic partnership.

I'm also confident that today's meeting will be constructive and business-like.

Thank you very much. Mr Prime Minister, please.

Mykola Azarov: Ladies and gentlemen,

The Prime Minister has already brought up the issues we'll discuss today, and I'd like to add a few remarks. Today we'll sign a very important protocol that will provide a framework for cooperation in various sectors of the Ukrainian and Russian economies.

The Russian Ministry of Regional Development and the Ukrainian Ministry of Regional Development and Construction will sign a memorandum of understanding.

Inter RAO UES, Energorynok and Ukrinterenergo will sign a memorandum of cooperation.

RusHydro and Ukrhydroenergo will also sign a memorandum of cooperation.

Ukrainian and Russian officials are in the process of drafting a series of agreements to be signed during the visit of the Russian president to Ukraine on May 17.

We already cooperate in a number of areas, the most important of which are oil and gas, nuclear energy, machinery manufacturing, space and transport. Although there are still several unresolved issues here, the Prime Minister has specified the direction of our future cooperation, giving it a fresh impetus.

Let me repeat, Ukraine is interested in working more closely with Russia. We've come here today with this idea in mind. We hope that the next meeting of the committee... When will that be, Mr Prime Minister? What do you suggest?

Vladimir Putin: Well, it's the end of April now... May, June, July, August, September... We could hold it at the end of October.

Mykola Azarov: At the end of October? Excellent.

Vladimir Putin: In the second half of October.

Mykola Azarov: That's a good date. At the end of October both our countries will be drafting our budgets. And so we can hope that by the next meeting in October many of the agreements we've discussed today will have taken shape.