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Putin Says Ties With Ukraine Unsatisfactory

Vladimir Putin (file photo) (AFP) 7 December 2005 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said today he was unhappy with recent developments in relations with Ukraine.

In comments made at the start of talks with Volodymyr Lytvyn, the speaker of Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada, Putin described 2005 as "a year of missed opportunities" as far as bilateral relations are concerned.

Putin said he regretted that Ukrainian political leaders are coming less often to Moscow.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine have soured since the change of political leadership that took place earlier this year in Kyiv.

In addition, Moscow has said that it is contemplating charging Ukraine and most other CIS countries near-European prices for its natural-gas supplies. Kyiv says the price hike would be tantamount to political blackmail.

(local Agencies)

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