Russia & Ukraine: without love but with probable friendship

This is the second meeting between Russian and Ukrainian governments’ heads. The first negotiations were held in June. They ran trade and economic cooperation questions and were completed with signing of the agreement about cooperation’s prolongation in atomic and recovery of uranium projects.

At that point Russian Prime Minister said Moscow should keep trying to make gas offtake from Central Asia to Ukraine more reasonable and noted Ukraine had no current debts for Russian supplies.

Yesterday Putin and Timoshenko agreed on a new intergovernmental Memorandum of gas cooperation. As Russian Prime minister tells this open dialogue allowed to coordinate the agreement of Russian-Ukraine cooperation in gas area which could be used as a basis of Gazprom/Naftogaz contract. As Putin says all future agreement details are to be discussed in the nearest time.

Julia Timoshenko stresses the importance of the agreement and noted that many countries including European ones expect “measured gas supplies”. As she says the parties have also discussed transit questions.

Vladimir Putin also mentions economic results of Ukraine’s participation in WTO especially for two countries cooperation. Russian Prime Minister thinks the probable Kiev’s WTO membership and liberalization of customs regulations in Ukraine could cause unchecked third countries goods’ crossflow into Russia.

“You’re professional and understand there can be problems with these different types of custom rules,” Vladimir Putin told Julia Timoshenko. “You have more liberal customs than we do. Our experts think some goods at Ukraine may be replaced by the third countries’ import, and this import can break through into Russian market because of our trade and economic agreement and due to the active (though a little bit limited) “free trade zone” in our two countries.

Russian government’s head specifies this input threaten to grow into a very impressive amount – 5 billion dollars. But Putin also says we all need to become members of WTO, Russia is still interested in it. Timoshenko notes that Kiev is ready to support Russia’s entry and will help Russia if any help is needed.

Russian Prime Minister underlines two countries’ economic cooperation is progressing which is noticeable because of the trade growth (54% this year, 25 billion dollars up to September). As for future Russia-Ukraine relations there are still a lot of questions according to Putin.

“Our meeting should have been made at the time when our relationship becomes better, but instead the situation goes worse. This concerns Ukraine’s political situation,” Russian Prime Minister points. “In this case there’s a big question about our new agreements: what will happen with them tomorrow? But we judge by the fact that if we agree, all vital issues between our countries will not be reconsidered because this is very important for our citizens and economics.”

Timoshenko answers Ukraine considers Russia as an “absolute strategic partner”. She also noticed Kiev is very interested in “friendly and winning” relationships, and all “unpleasant questions which sometimes could appear in any country” will be solved.

“I hope we have enough wisdom and responsibility for our nations. This is my main point,” Timoshenko adds.

The results of the meeting were discussed at the press conference. Putin covers the question of Ukraine’s participation in Georgia-Ossetia conflict. Russian Prime ministers notes Kremlin knows Ukraine has supplied weapons there in August.

“I’ve already said that weapons’ supplying into a war zone is an ungrateful and dangerous task. We disapprove that,” Russian head of government says. “This could be still read as business though it’s a very specific. We do not know who decided to supply special army equipment and weapons during the conflict.”

Putin also notes whoever this was he made a big mistake:

“We’re more worried about the other thing – all equipment could be delivered during the war and that it could be operated by Ukraine specialists. This – if it’s proven – this is what I call crime. Because this is what is called intervention and ruining Russia-Ukraine relationship. It’s absolutely intolerable. And of course if we find the evidences we would contact the responsible people in a special way,” edinros.ru writes.

Putin voices confidence that if any Ukraine representatives ever participated in the conflict this wasn’t in the interest of Ukraine people.

“If it was whose interests they protected at the Caucasus? Why did it happen? It wasn’t for Ukraine people, was it? What kind of interests Ukraine people had in this conflict? There are no such interests. This is only irresponsible, harmful and criminal politics,” Russian Prime Minister says.

Putin also remarks Moscow’s got a lot of questions about its Black Sea’s bases. He stresses that all should be decided by negotiations “in a friendly and trust-based climate, on the basis of intergovernmental agreements.”

Russian Prime Minister underlines that Kremlin is interested in “stable, democratic and wealthy Ukraine, and is ready to build a close friendly partnership together with Ukraine.” Vladimir Putin says Russia and Ukraine should solve all energetic problems before December.

Russian version

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