18 December 2013, 00:35

Presidents Putin and Yanukovych cement Russian-Ukrainian ties

Presidents Putin and Yanukovych cement Russian-Ukrainian ties

Prior to a very productive and wide-ranging session of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin met with the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych in the Kremlin, in a regularly scheduled meeting which takes place between the President of Russian and Ukraine prior to interstate consultations. The meeting between the Presidents and the bodies of government have underlined the inviolability and historic strength of Russian-Ukrainian relations and have mapped out steps for further cooperation and assistance, in particular to Ukraine, currently besieged by a US/NATO/EU attempt to force it into its own sphere of geopolitical influence.

Against the backdrop of the ongoing US/NATO/EU hysteria regarding the signing of an agreement between Ukraine and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, the matter of the Customs Union was not even on the agenda of the meetings between the Presidents or the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission. President Putin noted after the Commission had met that Russia’s plan to invest $15 billion in Ukrainian securities to allow Ukraine to strengthen its economy was done without any preconditions in particular any ties to Ukraine accession to the Customs Union.

When asked about the Russian Government's decision to invest part of its National Welfare Fund in Ukrainian securities President Putin said: "This is not tied to any preconditions, nor the increasing, or reducing, or freezing of any social standards, pensions, allowances, or costs. And I'd like to calm everyone down that we didn't even discuss Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union today."

President Putin, as is the standard protocol, opened the meeting with his Ukrainian colleague President Yanukovych by welcoming him to Moscow and outlined the key areas that were on the agenda. According to the Kremlin the President began by underlining the strategic partnership which has existed historically between Russia and Ukraine and said that Ukraine was an ally to Russia in every sense of the word.

President Putin opened by saying: "There can be no doubt that Ukraine is our strategic partner and ally in the fullest sense of the word. Unfortunately, as we noted during our recent meeting in Sochi, we have seen a decrease in trade over the past two years: 11 percent in 2012 and a further 14.5 percent this year. Therefore, it is time to take vigorous action so that we not only return to the level of previous years, but also create the conditions for moving forward."

Some experts attribute the falling trade levels in recent years to western meddling in Ukrainian markets and the EU attempting to implement trade barriers between Russia and Ukraine, including in the energy sector, but today’s meetings underline the fact, that while the West may be aggressively and even desperately trying to pull Ukraine away from Russia’s sphere of geopolitical influence, they actually have nothing to offer for the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian economy.

It is also important to note when considering the fact that the Customs Union was not discussed, that the accession of Ukraine to the trade union will bring it approximately $100 billion over a seven year period, while joining the EU block will bring it only $1 billion, cause a significant loss in sovereignty and of course be tied to eventual integration with NATO which will cost the Ukrainian people untold billions as funds for the social sector will be required to be moved into expensive military integration programs required by US/NATO.

Russia’s agreements with Ukraine on the other hand, and quite importantly, do not require Ukraine as a sovereign nation nor the Ukrainian people to forfeit or give up any of their sovereign rights and in fact all agreements will bring real benefits for Ukraine across all spheres.

Key areas and agreements that were addressed during today’s meetings addressed many spheres but of particular note was a bilateral "action plan" which has been signed and which will resolve issues concerning restrictions in bilateral trade for 2013-2014. Russia will also convert $15 billion worth of its National Welfare Fund into Ukrainian securities to assist Ukraine in staving off a financial crisis and in the energy sphere Russia's Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukraine have signed an amendment to sell gas to Ukraine at a price of $268.50 for 1,000 cubic meters, President Vladimir Putin has stated.

During the meeting of the Russian and Ukrainian heads of state, President Putin underlined other areas where recent bilateral cooperation has been fruitful for both sides and praised the work that has been done by Russian and Ukrainian colleagues in government including the prime ministers and other members of cabinets. Of the numerous areas where cooperation has been increased President Putin cited energy, machine engineering, space, aviation and shipbuilding as being vitally important sectors. President Putin also underlined the strengthening of the legal base in these areas and the necessity to create conditions necessary for expanding trade and economic relations between Russia and Ukraine.

President Yanykovich for his part underlined the seriousness of Ukraine’s economic situation by stating that the drop in trade volume over the past two years "requires urgent intervention" and that not only is Russian-Ukrainian cooperation vital but coordination with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIA) is also important. Especially in light of the fact that Ukraine will be holding the CIS presidency in 2014. President Yanukovych stated that the conditions for many companies across the CIS are precarious due to the drop in trade.

The Ukrainian leader was quite frank and honest during his meeting with President Putin and began by mentioning many areas where Russian-Ukrainian cooperation could be improved including in the technological spheres, in the production of new quality mutually beneficial products, and even the humanitarian sphere.

Of strategic importance President Yanukovych spoke of the need to expand cooperation in the fields of power engineering, transport engineering, shipbuilding, aviation and space.

With regard to cross border trade and inter-regional cooperation, President Yanukovych, discussed the need to develop these areas and create better conditions to ease the flow of people and goods across borders.

On a shared cultural note President Putin agreed with President Yanukovych on the importance of the humanitarian component of 200th anniversary of Taras Shevchenko. He said concrete proposals were in the works in the humanitarian sphere and added that much work has yet to be done to improve conditions for the millions of citizens (up to five million) who work for the most part in Russia and support families in Ukraine.

In closing it might be interesting to note that the word Ukraine, roughly translates to, and has its etymological roots as, the "borderland of Rus" just another link in the deep and shared spiritual, cultural, ethnic, political and other ties thank link the two nations. This closeness between Russia and Ukraine goes back approximately one thousand years and is part of the heart and soul of all of Russians and Ukrainians.

It is naïve of US/NATO/EU if they believe they can just come in, arrange another "Color Revolution", fund and back criminal elements in society to support them, pay off some guy who has had head beat too many times to try to lead a revolt and then take over Ukraine. Such moves may have worked in Serbia with Kosovo, because it is a much smaller country and the West’s modus operandi was not so well-known, but such moves have already failed in Ukraine. Today’s meetings between the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine and members of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission prove that beyond any shadow of a doubt.

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