Ukrainian Leaders Congratulate Putin On Post As Russian PM

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko sent congratulatory messages Thursday to former Russian President Vladimir Putin on his election as Russia's prime minister.

Vladimir Putin, who became prime minister Thursday, has signaled that he intends to remain Russia's principal leader, at least in the short term — and possibly much longer. He is keeping the trappings of his presidency and many of its powers as well.

"I hope that our constructive dialogue will continue in the future, and the agreements reached during our talks in Moscow will be implemented in order to boost further fruitful development of friendly Ukrainian-Russian relations", said Yushchenko in his congratulatory letter to Putin.

Tymoshenko said she is ready to work with Putin to expand and deepen pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in various fields, consolidate the foundation of bilateral ties and promote the strategic partnership of cooperation between Ukraine and Russia.

She believed that the Russian new prime minister will give a new impetus to the dialogue between Ukraine and Russia.

Russia's lower house of the parliament, the State Duma, approved Putin as Russia's new prime minister earlier in the day.

Source: Xinhua