Source Pravda.Ru

Leonid Kuchma to visit Moscow on Monday

On Monday presidents of Russia and Ukraine Vladimir Putin and Leonid Kuchma will participate in the closing ceremony of the Year of Ukraine in Russia.

Leonid Kuchma will pay a short working visit to Moscow.

As a RIA Novosti correspondent reports from Kiev, Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma is also expected to announce that the Year 2003 is to be the Year of Russia in Ukraine.

As it is expected, the presidents of Russia and Ukraine will discuss a broad spectrum of questions related to expansion of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in all spheres.

On Vladimir Putin's initiative, the year 2002 was declared the Year of Ukraine in the Russian Federation. The opening ceremony of the Year was held in the Kremlin on November 29, 2001 in the presence of the presidents of the two countries. A concert of the leading artists of Ukraine was held at the State Kremlin Palace on this occasion.

As Vladimir Putin said, the main idea of this event was "to open a wide road to public and business initiatives" for the broadest strata of the population of the two countries. In his opinion, the holding of Year of Ukraine in Russia will allow the inhabitants of Russia "to open a different Ukraine for themselves", and Ukraine - a different Russia.

A number of events of a business and humanitarian character took place in Russia within the framework of the Year. National exhibition 2002: Year of Ukraine in the Russian Federation was, in particular, held in Moscow last summer.

In 2002 the political dialogue was at a high level. The presidents of the two countries met nearly every month. According to RIA Novosti's information, the present meeting will be the ninth.

Their last meeting took place only three weeks ago, in Moscow on November 16. After it Vladimir Putin pointed to the positive processes and positive tendencies taking place in the economic sphere of Russian-Ukrainian cooperation.

"Everything on what I agreed with you earlier has been making not bad headway", the head of the Russian state said at that time.

For his part, the president of Ukraine also noted that "there is positive movement" and expressed satisfaction with the way the work to set up a Russian-Ukrainian gas consortium was being done.

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