Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that an improvement in the Russian-Ukrainian relations would not hamper Ukraine's striving towards the European Union.
"This can not hamper anything," Medvedev said. "If Ukrainian people decide that it wants to seek membership in the EU, this is your choice," he continued. "In fact, each choice should be just reasonable. We are all members of the European integration."
The Russian president said that Russia's turnover with the EU is some $250 billion. "So we are integrated with Europe very closely," Medvedev said.
"Obviously, we all belong to the European family," he said.
Medvedev said that he would attentively follow the events in the EU. "One should strive to a place where it is good and quiet," he said adding that Europe needs to cope with challenges it faces now. "However, this is Ukraine's choice," he said.
Medvedev is due in Ukraine on May 17 for his second visit since Viktor Yanukovych was elected president in February. The Ukrainian president has twice visited Russia as the two former Soviet neighbors have remade their relations over the past three months.
Many experts believe Yanukovych, seen as pro-Russian during the election campaign, will "disappoint" Moscow, pledging friendship with the Kremlin while still trying to pursue his predecessor Viktor Yushchenko's bid to take Ukraine into NATO and the EU.
MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti)