Interview with Viktor Sergeev
Russia Today: Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich has arrived on a two-day visit to Moscow. He and the Russian premier Mikhail Fradkov will chair the meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian Committee on Economic Co-operation on Friday.
The two premiers will discuss economic co-operation between Russia and Ukraine. Which parts of co-operation will be the focus of the discussion?
Viktor Sergeev: I think that many different economic spheres will be involved in the discussions. First of all, because the economic links between our countries are rather close. Definitely, the problem of transport of hydrocarbons will be involved, as well as co-operation in the field of aviation industry, and, possibly, in some fields of hi-tech. So, I expect very wide-ranging discussions.
RT: Is the visit of Yanukovich purely economic? We are receiving reports that he will also meet Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
V.S.: Frankly speaking, I do not believe in a clear separation between economic and political issues. And as for the issues that I mentioned previously, practically all of them have rather serious political aspects. So, it's natural that some political aspects of the relations between our countries will also be discussed during the meeting.
RT: The Ukrainian government stated previously that Friday's meeting should result in signing of a long-term declaration on economic co-operation. What are the parties' objectives related to this declaration and what are they likely to achieve?
V.S.: You see, to my mind, separation of Russian and Ukrainian economies is a bit artificial, because for many decades, within the Soviet Union, these economies were united. The separation of these economies resulted in a lot of different problems. So, now it's clear that Russian business has very serious interest in Ukraine. And Ukrainian business is also interested in some kind of vertical co-operation. It seems to me that the process of integration between the two economies will be beneficial for both countries.