The intention to sign, pending October 7, a trilateral, Russian-Ukrainian-German agreement to create a joint gas pipeline consortium was the principal outcome of the latest meeting, in Moscow, between Presidents Putin and Kuchma. Also agreed upon was the elimination of certain trade limitations between Russia and Ukraine. This is according to President Putin's press service.
Vladimir Putin said that the reason for President Kuchma's visit to Moscow had been the shrinking of trade turnover between the two countries. Mr. Putin emphasised that this had been the fifth meeting of the two presidents in the year 2002 and a good chance to discuss 'current issues, whose number is growing', especially because 'some problems must be attended to permanently'.
President Putin suggested that he and his Ukrainian colleague discuss political problems and the coordination of the actions of the two countries on international scale. He also said he was pleased and had thanked President Kuchma for such a prompt reaction to the invitation to visit Moscow, even despite Leonid Kuchma's coming birthday.
Today, August 9, President Kuchma has turned 54.