Papoulias receives visiting Ukrainian president

Greek President Karolos Papoulias on Thursday received Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who is currently on a visit to Greece. They discussed the currently very good bilateral relations between Greece and Ukraine, as well as the prospects for further developing these.

Papoulias briefed Yanukovych on all areas of bilateral relations, with special emphasis on foreign policy issues of interest to Greece, such as the Cyprus issue or relations with Turkey.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, he repeated the need to "end the Turkish invasion and occupation and to achieve a viable, functional and European solution".

Another issue touched on by the Greek president was the historic Greek community living in the Ukraine and the Ukrainian community in Greece, as well as the importance of boosting bilateral business ties.

Yanukovych, on his part, stressed that bilateral relations are based on mutual support and understanding and referred to "painful but necessary reforms" that are being carried out in both countries.

He expressed his country's gratitude for Greece's support of the Ukraine's European prospects and referred to bilateral agreements that were signed on Thursday in the areas of justice, health, investments, and civil aviation. He also emphasised the important opportunities for developing bilateral economic relations.

Yanukovych stressed the importance of a more relaxed visa regime for visiting EU countries, saying that this would help develop tourism and economic relations.

After his meeting with Papoulias, Yanukovych immediately departed for a meeting and working dinner with Prime Minister George Papandreou.

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