Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma yesterday, following Foreign Minister spokesman Yuri Serheev’s lead January 3, described recent Ukrainian-Russian relations as "markedly improving." Serheev traced the development to "the Russian side beginning to understand the irreversibility of Ukraine’s independence." Kuchma, speaking after his meeting with U.S. defense secretary William Perry and Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev, attributed the improvement in relations to the premise of both sides that relations must be equal. Commented Kuchma, "European security importantly depends on Russian-Ukrainian relations." (4)
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