30 april 2010

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov summarise the results achieved by a meeting of the Committee for Economic Cooperation

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced today that he has signed a Russian government resolution setting the export duty on gas at zero.
“So all conditions necessary to implement the agreements reached are in place,” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said before mentioning one last suggestion: “We talked about integration in the nuclear sector, and we are ready to do the same in the gas sector: to merge Gazprom with the national joint-stock company Naftohaz Ukrainy”.

Vladimir Putin: Ladies and Gentlemen,

During my recent visit to Kiev, Mr Azarov, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and I began discussions on a whole series of major new plans for Russian-Ukrainian cooperation. Today, we reviewed them in greater detail. Certainly, the successful ratification by both countries of the agreement to station the Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea has also lent a positive tone to the negotiations.

In essence, this means a qualitative breakthrough in bilateral relations and the creation of the political and economic conditions for a genuine strategic partnership between our two nations. I note that Ukraine will receive additional energy and investment resources towards its further development and to help overcome the effects of the global crisis. I told my colleagues at the meeting today that thanks to "gas discounts" our neighbours will be able to invest more than $40 billion into their national economy over the next ten years.

The adoption of a resolution, and this is the main point, meets the core interests of both the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. They will undoubtedly help preserve and amplify all those good things that have, through many centuries, united us. I reiterate, we are witnessing the development of a fundamentally new phase in Russian-Ukrainian relations. We will indeed be able to realise an ambitious agenda and make significant progress in cooperation on trade, the economy and investment. We will be able to launch major joint projects in industry, energy, aviation, agriculture, telecommunications and transport. In other words, those sectors in which Russia and Ukraine have a real competitive advantage and where there are considerable opportunities for close industrial and scientific cooperation. The integration of our nuclear industries, in particular, looks very promising. At the Committee meeting, we detailed specific proposals from the Russian side in this sector.
In our view, it may be a matter of establishing a large joint holding company uniting the nuclear power engineering sector, the nuclear fuel cycle and nuclear power generation.

Russia and Ukraine are already cooperating and interacting productively in the nuclear energy sector. There are many companies in each of our countries that are closely linked to one another. We want to broaden this cooperation: building new units at the Khmelnitsky Nuclear Power Plant and securing Ukrainian partners for work on a large-scale development programme for the Russian nuclear power industry. In addition, we are ready to enter other countries' markets together.

Undoubtedly, and I want to point this out, Russia has recently formed a solid set of foreign orders for the construction of energy facilities. Our banks have considerable resources to finance such projects, and we would like Ukrainian companies to participate in their implementation.

No less significant is the potential for bilateral cooperation in aviation engineering and shipbuilding, including setting up full-scale cooperation between Russia's United Aircraft Corporation and the Ukrainian Antonov concern.

We intend to concentrate on the joint production, promotion and post-sales maintenance of AN-brand planes. Mr Azarov and I have instructed the heads of Ukrainian and Russian ministries and agencies to produce detailed scenarios for all these initiatives.

We will develop our relations in the banking and finance sectors. You know that Russian financial institutions have invested considerable funds in this sector of the Ukrainian economy. We hope that this cooperation will be productive. One of our largest banks, VTB, has held talks with the Ukrainian finance minister and should there be interest from the Ukrainian side, we stand ready to grant the Ukrainian Finance Ministry a $500 million loan in the nearest future.

We would also welcome Ukraine's active involvement in the integration processes underway throughout the CIS region. I am convinced that this will open up additional, attractive interesting opportunities to increase mutually beneficial cooperation on trade, the economy and investment.

We have adopted a resolution on establishing a high-level group that would consider issues relating to including Ukraine in the integration processes. Igor Shuvalov and Andrei Klyuyev will head that group. In addition, we have pledged to work more intensively on bilateral mechanisms for cooperation in industrial and humanitarian fields.


I am confident that the Committee's resolutions will benefit interaction between Russia and Ukraine and that these resolutions will make cooperation even more effective and broad-based. We have agreed that, in the second half of the year, in October, we would hold our scheduled meeting in Ukraine.

During today's negotiations, we also talked about cooperation in the fields of science, education and cultural interaction.

In a few days' time we will solemnly mark the 65th anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War. This is an occasion we mark, together. I am confident that we will celebrate it in a worthy manner. We will pay our respects to our veterans' heroism and will honour the memory of the fallen in the Great Patriotic War.

The Victory Parade in Kiev will be broadcast on the Vesti 24 television network and Ukrainian viewers will be able to watch the parade on Red Square.

In closing, I would like to thank all of our Ukrainian colleagues and you, Mr Azarov, for our work together today.

Mykola Azarov: Mr Putin, Russian and Ukrainian colleagues, as the first speaker, Mr Putin, you have freed me from having to explain at length what you already talked about. Therefore, I will limit myself to literally just a few subjects.

First of all, both Russia and Ukraine share the common goals of economic modernisation and recovering from the economic crisis. In fact Russia and Ukraine now face global challenges.

Given these conditions, joining forces will allow us to move in that direction quickly and intensively. Therefore, those solutions for which we are now laying the foundations, will, in my view, give rise to the opportunity, for example, for us to set up our own production of nuclear fuel for our power plants in conjunction with Russia, using the technology that Russia has.

On the other hand, we are a major transit state and will gladly provide you with the opportunity for oil and gas transit. And today we agreed that we will carry out joint research and guarantee that these supplies will be planned many years ahead and that we will jointly work to modernise our gas transport system with the participation, of course, of our European partners, to whom the gas is being transported.

Of course, those decisions that Russia made... I understand that lowering the gas price is not an easy decision and that it is involves losses for Russia's federal budget and for the country as a whole. Of course, we understand the difficulties that the Russian budget faces, but we also value the great effect that your decisions Mr Putin, and those of your government, will have on our economy. This will enable us to build up resources and direct them primarily at stabilising the economic situation with the goal of economic development.

We, and of course I mean Ukraine, have a difficult path ahead of us. We must clear away all obstacles that hinder our relations, obstacles which had been artificially created over the last five years and which inhibited the entirely natural and normal course of our relations.

Therefore, Mr Putin, esteemed Russian colleagues, we are determined to move dynamically and intensively in the direction that we have mapped today and we ask you to work in a similar manner.

In closing, I would like to thank you, Mr Putin, for your hearty welcome, for this constructive environment, most of all for this environment of good will, for your willingness to compromise and our shared desire to meet each other halfway. We value all this very highly. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: I have informed Mr Azarov that today I have signed a Russian Government Resolution setting the export duty on gas at zero, so all the necessary conditions to implement the agreements reached are in place.
I also made another suggestion for us to consider. We talked about integration in the nuclear sector, and we are ready to do the same in the gas sector: to merge Gazprom with the national joint-stock company Naftohaz Ukrainy.