President: Ukrainian-Belarusian relations will always be friendly

The relations between Ukraine and Belarus will always be good neighborly, said President Viktor Yanukovych at the beginning of his meeting with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk.

"Our policy will be good neighborly, we will always conduct a transparent policy," he said, presidential press office reported.

Viktor Yanukovych noted that Ukraine and Belarus have always had and will have interesting targets for cooperation, both bilateral and international. "We always knew how to unite in order to protect national interests," he said.

Among the common problems of the two states President Yanukovych named joint fighting consequences of the Chernobyl tragedy. He said he had visited the NPP recently and saw that there are still gaps to be filled in the program of making the Chernobyl NPP safe.

"There are many unresolved issues, such as lack of funding," said Viktor Yanukovych. He informed his Belarusian colleague on the initiative to hold a summit in 2011 dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster and invited Alexander Lukashenko to take part in it.

"These are pressing issues and we must jointly initiate their consideration and resolve them," he said.

At the meeting Viktor Yanukovych also brought up the question of finalizing delimitation of Belarusian-Ukrainian border. He thanked Alexander Lukashenko for the Belarusian Parliament ratifying the demarcation agreement.

"We should discuss the issue of border interregional cooperation. The development of our interregional cooperation will surely boost trade. It also will help attract investment," said the President of Ukraine.

Besides, President Yanukovych praised efforts made by Belarus to harmonize its legislation with the European and country's steps aimed at joining the Council of Europe. "I know that you're making consecutive steps to join the Council of Europe. Ukraine in this respect has advanced further, so I think our experience could be of interest for Belarus," he said.

In this regard he reminded that Ukraine next year will take presidency over the Council of Europe and "new opportunities may open in this context".

The President also stressed that Ukraine is already adapting national legislation to European standards.

Another goal, important for both states, President Yanukovych named accessing the European markets.

From his part President Alexander Lukashenko said he was glad to welcome the President of Ukraine in Viktor Yanukovych's ancestors homeland. He noted that back when he had visited Kyiv, sides agreed to hold a meeting to approve the agenda of bilateral relations between Ukraine and Belarus.

"The development of Ukrainian-Belarusian relations roadmap is the question that concerns the interests of our states and our peoples," said Alexander Lukashenko. He noted that the relations between the two states should aim at providing their peoples with worthy life conditions.

"So that we, as European states, did not differ from those European countries, which we are bordered by," said the President of Belarus.

Speaking about the issue of delimitation of the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, Alexander Lukashenko said: "We have ratified the border agreement, so I think that now we should take the appropriate measures. The measures, which would show real intentions of Ukraine and Belarus." He also expressed hope that the two Presidents would meet again soon, including at the border of the two countries.


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