27 october, 2010 20:34  

The Russian and Ukrainian prime ministers hold a news conference following a meeting of the Committee on Economic Cooperation


“We are willing to continue our dialogue on all issues of concern to both parties, and I am confident that we will always find mutually acceptable solutions,” the Russian prime minister said following talks in Kiev.

Vladimir Putin's remarks:

Mr Azarov, ladies and gentlemen,

My colleague was just speaking about all our agreements and achievements. Yes, there have been achievements. As we've just noted, we have signed a very serious and significant package of agreements, which will significantly deepen our ties.

For my part, I will say that we have managed to rapidly restore bilateral trade. I see this not only as a reflection of the favourable economic situation, which is certainly important, but also as a direct result of the normalisation in our bilateral relations and the new atmosphere of confidence and eagerness to expand our mutually beneficial cooperation.

Ukraine is one of Russia's most important partners, not only in the CIS but in the entire world. Russian businesses are increasing investment. Russia comes second after Germany in terms of investments in the Ukrainian economy. We must keep up the pace of the progress we've made recently and maintain our competitive advantages in order to develop our own economies, solve social problems and operate effectively in the markets of other countries. We are determined to follow this road.

I am pleased to note that Russia and Ukraine have made great strides, as you have witnessed: we have signed a package of agreements on air transport and shipbuilding, and agreed to continue our promising cooperation in space exploration, to say nothing of industries currently facing difficult situations -shipbuilding and civil aircraft building. If we can agree to pursue real cooperation here, which both parties want, we will not only keep these critical industries going, we will become truly competitive and find our own niches in the world in civil aircraft building and shipbuilding.

I am pleased to note that our businesses are also creating an extremely friendly atmosphere and maintaining a very substantive dialogue.

As you know, a business forum is opening in Kiev today. Its basic idea is captured in its name: "Ukraine-Russia: Infrastructure Projects and Issues of Modernisation." We are determined to promote this dialogue in every possible way at the government level, and we will work toward making our businesspeople feel confident and secure.

Of course, we have also discussed energy issues, including nuclear power and oil and gas. As you know, the latest decisions have significantly reduced natural gas prices for Ukrainian consumers. And I know - as I said today during the opening of our meeting - that the Ukrainian government is spending the billions of dollars it is saving wisely to solve pressing economic and social problems. We are willing to continue our dialogue on all issues of concern to both parties, and I am confident that we will always find mutually acceptable solutions.

I would like to thank our Ukrainian partners for their hospitality. Thank you very much.