Russian President on situation with grain in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin does not see anything unusual about the situation with grain in Ukraine.

"In many West European countries the situation is similar," the President said at a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and Russian Agriculture Minister Alexei Gordeyev in Novoogarevo on Friday.

"Agriculture is very dependent on natural factors," he pointed out.

"We, as good friends, neighbours, almost relatives, have a possibility to give you a helping hand," Putin said.

Last year's harvest gave the country an opportunity to export 17 million tons of grain and to add a significant amount to the state grain reserves, he explained.

The President knows that after Moscow Viktor Yanukovich will visit Kazakhstan. "I have recently spoken to the President of Kazakhstan, he is expecting you. I am sure there Viktor Yanukovich will also find support," Putin said.

The Ukrainian Prime Minister thanked the Russian leader for finding time to receive him.

"We have a lot of friends here, who have said that if we hadn't turned to you /for help with grain/ it would have been wrong," he pointed out.

Yanukovich and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kasyanov have always understood that "together it is easier to solve a lot of problems and to conduct policy both on foreign and domestic markets," the Ukrainian minister emphasized.

"Our countries have traditional cooperation links," he added.

In response the Russian President pointed out that the Russian party found not only time to meet the Ukrainian Prime Minister but also "managed to find grain very quickly".

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