Russia ready to renew relations with Ukraine - Putin
"We are ready to work on drafting a new, promising agenda..."
Russia is ready to work to renew relations with Ukraine, especially bilateral economic ties, with the expectation that mutual interests will be served, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.
"We are ready to work on drafting a new, promising agenda of relations between our countries in all areas, primarily in the economic sphere," Putin told a meeting of the bilateral economic cooperation committee.
At a 3 1/2-hour meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko, Putin discussed a recent deal between the European Union and Ukraine on modernizing Ukraine`s natural gas transit system.
"The document does not say a word about the participation of Russia as the main energy supplier to Europe," Putin said, adding that Russia wanted to continue talks on Moscow`s participation in the development of Ukraine`s pipeline network.
"We hope to continue our discussions on this issue," he said.
The European Union`s agreement with Ukraine raised tensions between Kiev and Moscow, with relations already strained following the gas dispute at the start of the year that disrupted Russian energy supplies to Europe in January.
Russia, which transits about 80% of its Europe-bound gas via Ukraine, complained that it was excluded from the talks in Brussels and briefly suspended inter-governmental contacts.