Medvedev Grants Revealing Interview To Ukrainian Journalists Ahead Of Kiev Visit

MOSCOW, Russia -- Ahead of his May 17-18 visit to Kiev, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave a rare and revealing interview to Ukrainian journalists.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

He revealed that he has Ukrainian ethnic roots and urged closer cooperation between both Slavic countries, insisting they will continue down a close path as neighbours.

He downplayed the chances that a full-fledged merger could be worked out between the natural gas companies of both countries, insisting Russia's gas giant Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz were too different size wise.

But he called for other forms of cooperation in natural gas and other sectors through joint ventures and share swaps, specifically naming aviation as an industry where a deal could be worked out soon.

The Russian president praised what he described as a new era of cooperation that has emerged under the leadership of his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych.

He insisted that Russia would not block Ukraine's attempts to join the European Union.

Source: Russia Today