KIEV, Ukraine, April 28 (UPI) -- The stage has been set for Russia and Ukraine to forge new long-term partnerships in a number of areas, Ukraine's prime minister said Wednesday.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said for the first time in two years Russia and Ukraine will, on Friday, have intergovernmental talks aimed at creating partnerships in the air industry, energy and nuclear sectors, the official Russian news agency RIA Novosti reports.
Azarov has called on all government bodies and ministries in his country to come up with concrete proposals in advance of Friday's meeting.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has proposed the countries create a holding company "incorporating production, nuclear engineering, the fuel cycle and operations in the nuclear fuel sector."
The breakthrough in relations follows the ratification Tuesday of a deal extending the lease on a Russian base in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol in exchange for granting Ukraine a 30 percent discount on the price of Russian natural gas.