Prime Ministers of Russia and Ukraine Mikhail Kasyanov and Anatoly Kinakh has opened Tuesday in the Moscow President Hotel a session of the Russian-Ukrainian intergovernmental commission for trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation, which was not convened for over 2.5 years, a RIA Novosti correspondent reports. On opening the session Mikhail Kasyanov stressed that over the period since the latest session a number of acute problems, primarily in gas sector, were settled owing to efforts of governments, ministries and, most often, presidents of the two countries. "We now look into the future of these problems on the basis of a long-term agreement designed for up to 2011," the Russian premier stressed. Moreover, Kasyanov added, we've managed to provide parallel functioning of the two countries' energy systems. As a result, Russia and Ukraine "can help each other and consumers feel more comfortable." The head of the Russian government noted that certain issues relating the Black Sea Fleet, which caused concern of the Russian side were also settled and there is a serious progress in trade relations. "Ukraine is a strategic partner for Russia, the trade turnover between our countries is on the rise," Kasyanov noted. According to him, closeness of the two countries, their common historical roots positively affect the development of relations in the economic sphere. In Kasyanov's words, constructive approaches to solving many Russian-Ukrainian problems were found. "The level of our trust allows one to say that Russia and Ukraine want to fill the words 'strategic partnership' with specific content," he emphasised. In the course of the session the so-called gas protocol for 2002 on volumes of the Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine, terms of their payment, and rates for pumping and transit of gas on the Ukrainian territory.
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