Vladimir Putin meets with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych
20 march 2012
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Yanukovych, I'm very glad to meet with you. I'd like to say straight away that we have substantially exceeded the pre-crisis level of trade. In 2008 it was $40 billion and by the end of the past year it had already reached $50 billion. This is a very good pace and we must keep it up. I'm glad that we have this opportunity to meet and discuss what we have done and what we should do in the near future.
Viktor Yanukobych: First of all, Mr Putin, I'd like to congratulate you on your election victory, which we think is good for stability in our region, in the East European direction, as we say. Of course, I hope that we will hold an interstate commission very soon. A whole package of documents is ready. I think we should review them and sign them. They will certainly create the conditions for the development of our economies.
The integration processes that we keep discussing are very important, especially in those sectors in which we have done enough to create synergy. This applies to power engineering, the preparation of the raw material base and energy issues in general. I am confident that we must continue and deepen everything that we have done on inter-regional cooperation. We need to deepen this because the border regions of Ukraine and Russia have been united enough for cross-border trade and for the travel of our citizens to and fro. However, regions inside our countries, far from the borders, still remain idle. The first group of Ukrainian governors plans to visit Siberia, the trans-Urals and the Far East during this month. I hope their visit will create better conditions for inter-regional cooperation and bilateral trade.
Vladimir Putin: Excellent. As for integration, I have already told you today that we plan to complete the ratification of the agreement this week. In any case, we submitted a draft law on ratification to the State Duma and I hope it will make a decision on it this week. If our Ukrainian colleagues did the same in Rada, President Dmitry Medvedev and I could simultaneously sign the laws ratifying our free trade agreement.
Viktor Yanukovych: We will certainly take part in this... yes, we will resolve this issue by all means.