Russia, Ukraine sign agreements to boost trade, industrial cooperation

Protesters in Kiev have warily watched Tuesday’s talks.
Russian and Ukrainian officials have signed a series of agreements to boost trade and industrial cooperation between the ex-Soviet neighbours, informs.
The agreements signed Tuesday include a deal to settle disputes in mutual trade, an agreement to jointly modify a Soviet-designed transport plane, a deal on industrial cooperation and a pact to design a bridge across the Kerch Strait.
Protesters in Ukraine, who have camped on the capital’s main square for nearly a month, have warily watched Tuesday’s talks in Moscow between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, fearing they could reflect the Kremlin’s effort to pull Ukraine closer into the Russian orbit. The protests were triggered by Yanukovych’s decision to ditch a pact with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Russia. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukoyvch has told his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that the two countries’ “strategic partnership” should be expanded, the Voice of America reports. Yanukovych made the remark at the start of a meeting with Putin in Moscow to discuss economic support for Ukraine’s ailing economy. “Should there be anything you and I will not sign today, we ought to sign this in the nearest future and continue working together. In other words, today’s meeting to a certain extent – keeping in mind the volume of decisions that have been prepared [for it], especially in the area of bilateral trade – is definitely a strategic one,” Yanukovych said. The talks come amid continued protests in Ukraine against Yanukovych’s decision to postpone signing a key political and trade deal with the European Union – apparently under pressure from Moscow.

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