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    PUTIN GREETS RUSSIA-UKRAINE UNITY CONFERENCE

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 3 (RIA Novosti) - An international research and practical conference on the historic achievements and political consequences of the Pereyaslavl Council gathered in Ukraine's Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky. Russia's President Vladimir Putin forwarded a greeting message to its participants and steering committee, reports the Kremlin press service.

    "Your conference is dedicated to a landmark in Russo-Ukrainian relations - the Pereyaslavl Council of 1654. Its resolutions predetermined for several centuries the common progress of Russia and Ukraine, and buttressed the two countries' defense and economy. 350th council anniversary celebrations were part of Russia Year in Ukraine. That was symbolic.

    "This historical date once again reminds us of the many centuries in which the two fraternal nations' destinies were intertwined. It reminds us of victories we scored together, the trials and tribulations we shared, and of priceless traditions of good-neighborly ties and mutual respect - our precious heritage.

    "Historical researchers will do their bit for friendship and confidence-building between our countries. I am sure of that because the present and future of Russo-Ukrainian partnership, and friendly links of our nations largely depend on how well we know and understand the past we share," writes President Putin.

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