"We hope our main partner in the former U.S.S.R. and our major economic and political partner in the world will overcome these problems as soon as possible," Vladimir Putin said Thursday while opening a meeting with Ukraine's Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.
Yanukovych's chief of staff said Monday the premier would visit Moscow June 21-22 to work out a program for long-term economic cooperation.
Serhiy Levochkin said the two countries were expected to sum up the work of 11 sectoral subcommissions and sign an agreement to regulate trade in metal products and a 2007 protocol for a production cooperation agreement.
Yanukovych told Putin that he was satisfied with bilateral trade. "This year trade has grown 38% to $7.9 billion. If this trend continues until the end of the year, the figure could reach $28 billion," he said.
Ukraine has been rocked by a power struggle between pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko, who has pledged to bring the country EU and NATO membership, and Yanukovych, who returned to politics last year, after his party won the majority of seats in parliament forming the ruling coalition.
Yushchenko and his arch rival Yanukovych agreed May 27 to hold snap elections in a bid to end a protracted political crisis.