Russian Foreign Minister sets off for Kiev

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has set off for Kiev on a two-day working visit, and will take part in the first joint session of the Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministries' collegium. The discussion of Russo-Ukrainian strategic partnership will be the meeting's centrepiece.

The Russian delegation is going to hold a conceptual exchange of opinions on this issue for a long-term period. Ukraine is strategic partner number one for Russia, therefore enhancing Russo-Ukrainian co-operation is a crucial issue, as the two countries' economies are largely dependent on each other.

The turnover between Russia and Ukraine is around $10 billion, and Ukraine is Russia's fourth major trade partner.

In the course of his working visit, Ivanov will meet Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and Chairman of the Supreme Rada Vladimir Litvin on Tuesday.

Ivanov and Kuchma are expected to discuss the upcoming informal CIS summit, which will be held within the framework of St Petersburg's 300th anniversary celebrations.

In addition, the two countries' foreign ministers will hold negotiations, focusing on issues of bilateral relations.

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