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India, Ukraine agree to enhance defence, cultural, educational, investment ties

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India and Ukraine have agreed to work together to realise the considerable untapped potential in their multi-faceted bilateral relationship and also to enhance mutually beneficial defence, cultural, educational, investment and other ties.

This was decided at a meeting here yesterday between External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Ukraine Foreign Affairs Minister Kostyantyn Gryshchenko, who is currently on a four-day official visit to India.

Mr Gryshchenko held delegation-level talks with Mr Krishna, who also hosted a lunch in his honour.

According to an official press release, the two sides held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of mutual interest. They expressed satisfaction at the state of the multi-faceted relationship.

Bilateral trade has been witnessing a steady growth to touch US $ 2.24 billion in 2010-11.

The two sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the Inter-Governmental Commission next year to impart further momentum to the economic and trade ties. It was also agreed to work out a mechanism to speed up the issuance of visas to make it easier for businessmen, tourists, students and others to travel in both directions.

An agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders was signed by the two Ministers.

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Mr Krishna and Mr Gryshchenko agreed to enhance high-level exchanges. The visiting Minister invited Mr Krishna to visit Kyiv at an early date, which was accepted.

The two Foreign Ministers also exchanged notes on the situation in their respective regions and on international issues. Mr Gryshchenko conveyed Ukraine's support for India's permanent membership of an extended United Nations Security Council.

The Foreign Ministers recognized terrorism as a global menace and pledged common efforts to root out this scourge.

Mr Gryshchenko also called on Vice President M Hamid Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. He met Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma, to discuss details of bilateral economic cooperation.

Mr Gryshchenko would also pay a visit to Agra before returning home, the release added.

NNN

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