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Vladimir Putin met with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
Before the meeting, on his way from Sevastopol Airport to Yalta, Vladimir Putin made an unscheduled stop at the camp of the Night Wolves Motoclub.
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Beginning of the meeting with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych
PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH: Good afternoon, Mr Putin,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to Crimea. The weather has been a little hot here, but I know that on the way here you have already had an opportunity to chat with your friends, the bikers.
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: They are expecting you, too.
VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH: That’s good, I’ll be happy to pay them a visit. I have passed on my greetings to them and said, “Go ahead and meet with the Russian President first, and I will come over later.”
VLADIMIR PUTIN: I told them that the last time we met you suggested that we get on our bikes, remember the old days and ride over.
VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH: We can do that, no problem.
Mr Putin, today will see a very important event in our relations: the [Russian-Ukrainian] Interstate Commission, which you and I have established, has prepared some very important documents, some of which will be signed by the two of us, and the rest by the representatives of our state agencies.
I think the Declaration on Strategic Partnership will have a special place among them. The decision has been made for us to begin joint efforts towards deepening our strategic relationship, and I think both Ukrainian and Russian citizens are waiting for this. I think we will have enough time today to discuss many issues, so I hope you will not be in too much of a hurry.
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Mr Yanukovych, we can work as long as we need to.
VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH: This meeting is taking place in Crimea. They say everyone who comes here gets a positive result – it must be something in the air. I hope we will have a good result, too.
We have state visits scheduled for the near future: I will visit Russia this year and we expect to see you in Ukraine next year. It is therefore very important that such high-level meetings have continued at the same intensity. Today we will have an opportunity to discuss the results this interaction has produced.
Bilateral trade has grown substantially, exceeding $55 billion last year. This year, we did not have a very good start but our experts say that the harsh weather last winter had a great impact on the situation.
Nevertheless, we have by now nearly reached the trade targets that had been planned, and I hope that we will manage to at least duplicate last year’s performance, and most likely will exceed last year's impressive figures.
Once again, welcome to Ukraine. I am very glad to see you and hope that our meeting today will be fruitful.
VLADIMIR PUTIN: Thank you very much. First of all, thank you for the invitation. We have been planning this meeting and our joint work for a long time.
As you know, I am accompanied today by a very big and highly representative Russian leadership team. It includes ministers in charge of various fields, primarily the economic bloc, but not exclusively. We have a great deal to discuss.
I fully agree with your assessment of the positive trends in trade and the economy, which have posted very good growth. Ukraine occupies approximately 6.2% of Russia's trade. That is a very impressive figure.
I believe Ukraine is in the fifth place among our major trade partners, and we will do our best to make a quick recovery from the minor setback we experienced in the first quarter of 2012, as you have said.
I think this should also be one of the subjects we discuss today. Let’s talk about it, analyse the processes that are taking place and the way they are unfolding. I am absolutely confident that this year our results will be as good as last years’, and perhaps even better.
Apart form these issues, we have many other matters of mutual interest. I am referring to a number of major projects that are being planned and which will certainly be realised, I have no doubt about that.
We will work as long as you consider necessary.
VIKTOR YANUKOVYCH: Thank you.