MOSCOW/KIEV, December 6 (RIA Novosti) – Russian President Vladimir Putin met briefly with his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych in Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi on Friday, the Kremlin spokesman said.
“The Ukrainian president made a stop in Sochi on his way home from China,” Dmitry Peskov said.
The Kremlin said in a statement that the two presidents discussed “current bilateral relations and preparations for the upcoming meeting of the Russian-Ukrainian Interstate Commission in Moscow.”
The Ukrainian president’s press service said Yanukovych and Putin also addressed trade and economic cooperation, and a draft Russian-Ukrainian strategic partnership treaty.
The meeting took place against a backdrop of massive protests in Ukraine’s capital Kiev, sparked late last month by Yanukovych’s announcement that it would reject an Association Agreement strengthening political and trade ties with the European Union and establish stronger links with Russia instead.
Opposition leaders in Kiev have accused Russia of pressuring Yanukovych to reject the deal with the EU, a charge denied by Moscow.