21 February 2005 -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliya Tymoshenko told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov today that the two former Soviet republics should work to ensure that their relationship benefits both sides.
Lavrov is visiting Kyiv in an effort to reshape relations with the new, Western-leaning leadership there.
At the start of their talks, Tymoshenko said that the leaders of Russia and Ukraine "should work to make sure that relations between the two countries are mutually beneficial," underlining Kyiv's sensitivity to Moscow's previous perceived attempts to dictate rather than negotiate policies.
Lavrov said that the relations between Russia and Ukraine should be "kept on an ascending path."
Yesterday, Lavrov said his country should accept the efforts of former Soviet republics seeking to mold their foreign policies separately from its own. He also said that Russia now considers Ukraine and Georgia to be outside its orbit.