Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Ivanov in Ukraine

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Igor Ivanov who is staying in Kiev on a working visit will hold talks with president Leonid Kuchma and speaker of Verkhovnaya Rada (parliament) of Ukraine Vladimir Litvin.

The head of the foreign-policy agency of Russia will also make a speech before the students of Kiev State University.

It is expected that in the course of the meeting with the Ukrainian president the sides will discuss the forthcoming informal CIS summit to be held within the celebration of the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg. It is possible that the question of setting up a gas consortium with the participation of Russia, Ukraine and Germany will be touched upon at the meeting.

Besides, talks of the Foreign Ministers of the two countries will take place focusing on the discussion of bilateral relations.

For Russia Ukraine is a strategic partner Number One, and for this reason the strengthening of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation is of paramount importance. This is linked with the great dependence of the two countries' economies on each other. The Russian-Ukrainian goods turnover now amounts to about 10 billion dollars, with Ukraine holding fourth place in Russia's goods turnover.

As spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Alexander Yakovenko stated, "positive dynamics of development in all the directions has become visible and, the most important, a high level of confidence and mutual understanding between the two sides has been established" in Russian-Ukrainian relations of late.

The spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed that "the political dialogue at top level has invariably been the main motive force of our relations". He recalled that over the past just over two years alone Vladimir Putin and Leonid Kuchma met 19 times.

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