19 August 2005 -- Ukrainian Economy Minister Serhiy Teriokhin said today that Kyiv intends to pull out of a planned economic pact with Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus.
Teriokhin made the announcement about Ukraine's withdrawal from the Single Economic Space (SES) project after talks in Kyiv with Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref. He said Ukraine preferred to deal with Russia on a bilateral basis.
Gref, for his part, said he was optimistic that recent disagreements with Ukraine over trade and gas issues have been largely overcome.
Gref said the two sides "have a sufficient level of mutual understanding." He said Russia wants to export more gas to Western Europe in the coming years and continues to count on Ukraine as a transit state, giving Moscow and Kyiv strong common interests.