Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Ukrainian president to meet Bush next week

KYIV, September 24 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko plans to meet with his U.S. counterpart, George Bush, next Monday, national media reported Wednesday.

Ukraine's pro-Western leader told the press about the upcoming meeting while attending the UN General Assembly session in New York, the UNIAN news agency said.

The agency quoted Yushchenko as saying that the two presidents would focus on bilateral relations. He said Kiev and Washington could extend a bilateral agreement on security.

The United States is a staunch supporter of Ukraine's bid for EU and NATO membership, while Moscow strongly opposes the former Soviet republic joining the military bloc as a threat to Russia's national security.

Russia, which is Ukraine's major energy supplier, leases its main Black Sea naval base from the country. At least 50 warships and smaller vessels, along with 80 aircraft, are stationed in the Crimean port of Sevastopol.

The base has been a source of friction between Russia and Ukraine, and Yushchenko has demanded that the Black Sea Fleet must leave the base when the lease expires in 2017.

No comments: