Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has signed a decree on preparation of a visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kiev planned for December 22, according to Itar-Tass.

      He ordered the government to prepare and submit to him for approval by December 18 “draft directives for official talks during the working visit and determine officials of the cabinet of ministers for the participation in the visit programme”.

      Yushchenko commissioned the Foreign Ministry to prepare a coordinated draft programme of Putin’s visit and propose members of a Ukrainian official delegation and accompanying persons.

      Orders have been issued to ministries and departments to send to the Foreign Ministry by December 11 surveys of the current state prospects of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation and of issues in the bilateral relations that need to be discussed during the talks of the Ukrainian and Russian presidents.

      Yushchenko also ordered preparing for signing a declaration on Ukrainian-Russian strategic partnership and a Ukraine-Russia plan of action for 2007-08.