Russia would like to strengthen economic and trade ties with Ukraine under the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO), President Vladimir Putin said Saturday, according to Xinhua.

During his meeting with visiting Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in the Black Sea resort Sochi, Putin said Russia's accession to the international trade club would bring more opportunities for trade cooperation between the two countries.

"As you know, Russia has fully joined the WTO. Ukraine has long been a member of this organization. All of this, I am sure, will allow us to further expand our trade and economic relations, which are important for both Russia and Ukraine," Putin said.

It was an "open secret" that Russia was the major market of Ukrainian products and goods, Putin said, adding that high-tech cooperation between the two sides in areas such as nuclear power, aerospace, ship building, aviation and engine manufacturing are thorough and deep.

With the new tool of the WTO, Russia-Ukraine bilateral cooperation could yield more fruits, Putin said.

Yanukovich said Russia was one of Ukraine's major trading partners, and his country would take the new chances and expand economic relations with Moscow, as well as with other countries.

"We are interested in making our efforts with you so that we could work in third countries, primarily the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) members and Asian countries," Yanukovich said.

Meanwhile, Ukraine would like to become an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) so to join the integration process inside the regional bloc, Yanukovich said.