The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry gives a positive assessment to the Ukrainian-Russian consultations on European integration that closed in Kiev on Friday, said the ministry's Secretary of State Alexander Chaly at the ministry's press club. The consultations were strategically important to realize "our course for integration with Europe, as it does not bar the expansion of our relations with Russia," he said.
"The recent trends we have been watching in connection with the EU expansion have clearly shown that extended and profitable Ukrainian-Russian relations are the necessary part of increasing and fulfilling our integration policy," the diplomat believes.
During the consultations the parties "exchanged their assessments on current problems, including those related to the forthcoming EU expansion", said head of the Russian delegation, Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Chizhov. It is a multidimensional process, involving countries that are not merely geographic neighbours of Russia and Ukraine, but also their traditional political and economic partners, he pointed out. "Our assessments are very much alike, though Russia and Ukraine have somewhat different goals in European integration," Chizhov added.
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Eyewitnesses said that explosions could be heard in the centre of Kyiv. Smoke was seen rising above Zhuliany Airport (Kyiv International Airport)