Victor Yushchenko has welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to the State Secretariat for talks expected to focus on trade, humanitarian and political issues, according to the President`s press-office.

The two leaders are now meeting tête-à-tête.

The Ukrainian President said, “We see this visit as a landmark in our relations. I hope our meeting today will help initiate the work of our bilateral commission.”

Mr. Putin thanked the colleague for the invitation.

“This was your idea to create such a commission. I think this idea is right, as it creates many good and constructive mechanisms for cooperation,” he said.

Mr. Yushchenko and Mr. Putin are expected to take part in a meeting of the Ukraine-Russia Commission.