Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, has set up an advisory council on Ukraine-Russia relations, in a move designed to further strengthen ties with Moscow.
The president's chief of staff Serhiy Lyovochkin has been appointed head, the president's press service said.
Yanukovych, who has been accused by Ukraine's opposition of a lurch toward authoritarianism since entering office in February, has moved to patch up relations with Russia following sharp disagreements during the presidency of markedly pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko.
He has dropped Yushchenko's plans to join NATO, but has vowed to make Ukraine an EU member.
KIEV, October 27 (RIA Novosti)