In Kharkiv, President Viktor Yanukovych met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev tete-a-tete.
Welcoming the guest, the President said he was glad to see him in Kharkiv, which once was the capital of Ukraine and has been traditional meeting point for governors of border regions of the two states. "I think we need to restore this tradition", said Viktor Yanukovych.
According to the President, he and his Russian counterpart were to discuss issues of inter-regional cooperation. "Today we will summarize quite difficult negotiations that we were conducting recently and related to overcoming the crisis in the economy, putting relations between Ukraine and Russia on a long-term strategic common ground", said Viktor Yanukovych.
"We have big plans and must take the first steps", he said.
The last five years have been challenging for the Ukrainian-Russian relations and were marked by cooling between the two countries, said Viktor Yanukovych. "We could never imagine such thing happening in our history", he added, noting that this situation does not correspond with the mood of citizens of Ukraine and Russia.
"People want us to build the traditionally friendly relations that have always brought our peoples to success," he said.
The President separately emphasized the significant mutual integration of the economies of our countries. "So, we must use the existing opportunities to obtain economic benefit", he said.
Viktor Yanukovych expressed confidence that relations between our countries will develop in all areas. "Today we make a serious step towards strengthening relations between Ukraine and Russia", he said.
From his part Dmitry Medvedev said: "We should fill in the gaps that emerged in the last five years, to turn our relations from ordinary into real partnership”.
Russian President also expressed his belief that his current working visit to Ukraine in this context is certainly very important.