Yevgeny Kushnarev, governor of the Kharkov region (Eastern Ukraine, bordering Russia), called the Russian- Ukrainian business forum underway in Kharkov as the unfolding of a "new era" in business relations between Ukraine and Russia. Over 500 representatives of big business of Russia and Ukraine are taking part in the forum's work. According to Kushnarev, such a major function to be attended by presidents of the two countries. Over the first day of the forum alone more than 20 agreements related to cooperation in energy, coal, aerospace and rocket spheres were signed, the governor stressed. First vice-president of the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Vladimir Shchelkunov said in turn that a visit by the two presidents, Vladimir Putin and Leonid Kuchma, to the Kharkov-based aircraft plant scheduled for today will give a new impetus to the Russian-Ukrainian long-term aircraft manufacturing programme. According to him, Russia and Ukraine have plans to work jointly to manufacture new liners An-70, An-74 and other.