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Putin proposed joint projects for Ukraine and Russia

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday called for closer economic ties with Kyiv while meeting with Ukraine's new President Viktor Yanukovych in Moscow.
"We know that in engineering, aviation, energy and agricultural spheres we strongly depend on each other. We have a lot to do to make up lost ground," Putin declared. Trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine slumped by about 40 percent last year due to the global economic crisis, Putin noted.
He proposed that the two former Soviet neighbors develop joint projects, including in the energy sector, in third countries. During the meeting, Putin also invited Ukraine to join a customs union comprising Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Earlier in the day, Yanukovych met with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev in the Kremlin, pledging to improve bilateral ties after years of tensions under Ukraine's pro-Western leadership.
Written by: Publisher Saturday, 06 March 2010 20:06