According to the report of the RIA Novosti correspondent, Pyotr Simonenko, chairman of the Ukrainian communist party and a deputy of the Ukrainian Supreme Rada (Parliament) stated in the wake of the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and active members of public organizations of Russian Ukrainians that presently the "political initiative" in bilateral Russian-Ukrainian relations was in Russia's hands. According to Simonenko, the meeting proved that those who "were waging the policy of pulling the two countries apart had no chances". He stressed that "the policy towards rapprochement became a dominant and a prevailing one in the bilateral relations". Pyotr Simonenko noted with satisfaction that at the meeting Vladimir Putin "paid his deepest respects to Ukrainians by birth who resided in Russia". According to Vladimir Seminozhenko, vice-premier of the Ukrainian government, at the meeting they discussed the whole range of Russian-Ukrainian relations. He indicated that the major conclusion was that without the support of the public of the two countries it would be difficult to implement all projects to intensify bilateral relations.
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