Russian, Ukrainian foreign ministers meet in New York

14:28, 24 September 2008
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Focusing on the cooperation agreement between the countries

The foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine have held bilateral discussions in New York, focusing on the cooperation agreement between the countries, the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN reported Wednesday.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Volodymyr Ohryzko and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, who met Tuesday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, both stated the necessity of prolonging the two countries` friendship and cooperation agreement.

The pact will be automatically extended if the parties do not express any objections before October 1.

The high-ranking diplomats also discussed the issue of Russia`s Black Sea Fleet presence in Ukraine`s Crimea as well as the disagreement over the maritime boundary in the Sea of Azov.

Ukraine insists Russia will have to leave the Sevastopol base when the current lease agreement expires in 2017. The base has been a source of friction between Russia and Ukraine in recent years, as Ukraine`s pro-Western president, Viktor Yushchenko, has sought NATO and EU membership for the country.

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