Putin Urges Yanukovich's Ukraine to Join Russia's Customs UnionWorld | March 5, 2010, Friday // 19:03| views
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich (left) meeting with Russian President Medvedev in Moscow Friday. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Russian PM Putin has invited Ukrainian President Yanukovich to integrate his country with the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan customs union.
Yanukovich was on his official visit to Moscow Friday meeting first with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and then with Putin.
The new Ukrainian President has given no immediate answer to Putin’s invitation. Last week he made it clear that Ukraine’s continued integration with the European Union would be a priority for his administration. The possibility of Ukraine joining the Russian sponsored customs union would put in question the country’s EU prospects.
However, Yanukovich has stated his desire to “reanimate” his country’s relations with Russia which, in his view, were damaged severely during the term of his successor Viktor Yushchenko.
The new Ukrainian President said the Russian Black Sea Navy should be allowed to keep its bases on the Crimean Peninsula after the present leases expire in 2017.
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