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President Viktor Yushchenko comments on Ukrainian-Russian relations
Ukraine intends, within this year, to settle certain issues of Russia's Crimea-stationed Black Sea Fleet, alongside frontier issues and bilateral power industrial partnership prospects, President Viktor Yushchenko said to newsmen today. The desired settlement demands approximate total 25 to 30 agreements for signing, remarked the President, as reported by the Novosti-Ukraine news agency. As for the status of the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet, there are presently five documents to determine it. Regrettably, they do not comprise all involved issues. "If we are friends, let us look each other straight in the eyes and say: 'The matter has to change'," called Yushchenko. He went over to frontier issues to highlight the latest bilateral presidential summit, which brought an understanding to settle particular matters even within this year-demarcation and delimitation, recognition of the once disputed frontier along the Kerch Strait, and frontier crossing arrangements for areas close to the frontier to either side. The President pointed out current "unique opportunities to step up Ukrainian-Russian power industrial cooperation." Ukraine's success here depends on just how active it will be in that field, he emphasized. Yushchenko also made a remark on Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko's visit to Moscow put off. "It was due to technical issues within the country," he explained. "There were technical problems to which we responded. That was why we postponed the visit. It will take some more time to make visit preparations." At any rate, Timoshenko will go to Russia. That is beyond doubt, he said. The world knows numerous instances of political leaders postponing visits: "Every country occasionally encounters domestic issues that require the closest attention." Ukraine's contacts with Russia ought to see steady improvement, and must be "honest, public and fruitful", said the President. He once again denied rumors of Yulia Timoshenko's tentative dismissal from premiership. "Ever more legends are circulated round the matter, and I blush to hear them. That all has gone beyond the limits of common sense," exclaimed Mr. Yushchenko
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