Thursday, April 22, 2010

President's statement on Ukrainian-Russian meeting in Kharkiv

The fact once again confirms continuity of our declared pursuit of normalization of relations with the Russian Federation.

Kharkiv meeting, just like the previous ones, was rich and productive.

Today we held important talks with Dmitry Medvedev on a broad range of issues on Ukrainian-Russian agenda. We have talked over political cooperation, the economy and humanitarian issues.

We dedicated special attention to the meeting with governors of border regions of Ukraine and Russia, the interregional cooperation between our countries.

I think that cooperation in this field has great importance for the whole complex of relations between Ukraine and Russia.

Our border regions represent the potential that can significantly strengthen our relationship producing benefits for both sides.

To achieve this goal we are yet to perform a number of tasks. And we are ready to do just that.

Only few days left before we celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Great Victory.

In this regard, Dmitry Medvedev and I could not avoid dedicating some time to discussing celebration of this date, important for our peoples.

In general, I consider today's meeting to be important event for the development of Ukrainian-Russian bilateral cooperation; the concrete proof of our mutual interest in further strengthening and expanding multifaceted relations between our countries.

During the negotiations we have reached understanding on the question of lowering the gas price.

You know well, what a gas contract we have inherited from our predecessors. That price was unbearable for Ukraine.

As the result of today's agreement, in next 10 years Ukraine will save about $40 billion. And that means about $4 billion yearly.

We have agreed that each year the gas price for Ukraine will be discounted. If the purchase price at the border is more than $333, we will have a $ 100 rebate per thousand cubic meters starting from April. Otherwise, if the price drops below $333, we will anyway have 30% discount, fixed in the agreement.

Thus, Ukraine has secured its interests and made itself independent on fluctuations of prices at global markets. Such conditions give us, figuratively speaking, ten years of respite to prepare the country for the global prices.

Meanwhile, we will modernize our energy system, prepare the grounds for developing alternative energy sources, their diversification, revitalize the economy, conduct structural reforms and build a solid foundation for economic growth.

Today I can confidently say that we have reached agreements that will allow me to implement the program I ran with in the presidential election. The result of these negotiations, simply saying, will have positive effect on the wallet of every citizen of our country, and will allow boosting development of enterprises, housing and so on.

In the complex of issues we have also discussed conditions of deployment of Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. Ukraine is undoubtedly interested in Russia investing into development of the city – construction of roads and housing, including for low-income citizens, into modernization of communal infrastructure and other areas, which are now in decay.

Today we have agreed on the possibility to prolong deployment of Russian Navy in Crimea for another 25 years under condition that Russia invests into development of the peninsula. In this time we must make Crimea a popular health resort, which can easily compete with the best resorts in the world in terms of both comfort and price.

Our next meeting with Dmitry Medvedev is scheduled on May 8 in Moscow within the framework of CIS Summit.

And, of course, on May 17, we look forward to welcome Dmitry Medvedev in Ukraine with the official visit.