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Ukraine ambassador says PM Yanukovych to visit Moscow next week

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Ukraine's ambassador to Russia said Wednesday that the new prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, will visit Moscow next week. "He will focus on economic issues," Oleg Diomin told reporters.

MOSCOW, August 9 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine's ambassador to Russia said Wednesday that the new prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, will visit Moscow next week.

"He will focus on economic issues," Oleg Diomin told reporters.

A source in the Ukrainian government said Tuesday that Yanukovych could visit Russia as early as next week, but the foreign minister gave a more general timeframe and said the new prime minister would be expected in Russia in August.

"Our embassy in Russia has started preparations for the visit," Borys Tarasyuk said adding that Yanukovych would attend a session of the Russian-Ukrainian committee for economic cooperation.

President Viktor Yushchenko finally approved the nomination of Yanukovych, his 2004 presidential rival, as prime minister last Thursday, and parliament voted in his favor Friday, thereby ending a four-month political crisis in the former Soviet republic.

Yanukovych, who served as prime minister in 2002-2004 under President Leonid Kuchma, has strong support from the Russian-speaking eastern part of Ukraine, and is widely expected to seek closer economic ties with Russia.

The Ukrainian ambassador to Russia, however, said he had no information about a possible visit of Ukraine's fuel and energy minister to Moscow after some media reported Wednesday that Yuriy Boiko had departed for Moscow on a working visit.

"Unfortunately, I have no information about Boiko visiting Russia," Diomin said. "Perhaps, he is making a private trip."

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