Ukraine Azerbaijan Strengthen Ties

KIEV (Xinhua)–Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said Monday that Ukraine and Azerbaijan–which have signed 17 cooperative agreemen’s–should help each other in difficult times. During a meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart–Gaidar Aliyev–Kuchma expressed satisfaction with the agreemen’s–adding they indicated that "we are working to the same destination–the construction of a sovereign–independent and democratic state." The 17 accords include deepening partnership–cooperation on energy–diplomacy–investmen’s–military technology and public health. Ukraine has been very active in the diplomatic front since the beginning of this year. It has promoted ties with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization–Europe–the United States and Russia. It has broadened relations with other former Soviet republics by negotiations on border issues with Belarus–strengthening transport cooperation with Georgia–increasing economic contacts with Moldova and Estonia and signing an energy accord with Kazakhstan. All the efforts made by Ukraine aim to free the country from Russia in the economy and politics. Its economy relies heavily on Russia with which takes about 40 percent of its exports–and 70 percent of its energy is imported from Russia.

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