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    PRESIDENT OF MOLDOVA MAKES SURPRISE VISIT TO UKRAINE

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    KIEV, March 1 (RIA Novosti) - President of Moldova Vladimir Voronin made a surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital of Kiev Tuesday. Here, he met for talks with the host country's leader, Viktor Yushchenko.

    Irina Gerashchenko, spokeswoman for the Ukrainian President, said the talks had been arranged at a short notice and on the Moldovan side's suggestion. Speaking to a RIA Novosti correspondent ahead of the presidential meeting, she said she had no idea what issues Messrs. Yushchenko and Voronin were going to discuss. She said only that Yushchenko was pleased to have the Moldovan President as his guest.

    A member of the Moldovan delegation told RIA Tuesday that the two heads of state had decided to turn over a new leaf in the relations between their countries and that both were determined to make the relationship more intense, energetic and meaningful.

    According to the source, Messrs. Yushchenko and Voronin signed a joint communique setting out their cooperation priorities. These range from integration into the European Union to the establishment of "transparent control" along the Transdniestrian section of the border between Moldova and Ukraine and the overall settlement of the Transdniestrian conflict.

    Bearing in mind the action plans signed both by Ukraine and Moldova with the European Union, Messrs. Yushchenko and Voronin examined the possibility of "synchronizing the two countries' efforts in this direction," the source reported.

    At today's meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, the visiting Moldovan President referred to Ukraine as Moldova's No. 1 trading partner.

    The presidents also considered ways to step up Ukrainian-Moldovan cooperation within the GUUAM association, which also includes Georgia, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, as well as Ukraine's mediation in the conflict between Moldova and its breakaway region of Transdniestria.

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