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Russia's Putin praises new ties with Ukraine

October 27, 2010

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KIEV, Ukraine—Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says trade ties with Ukraine have improved dramatically since Kremlin-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych came to power.

Putin says trade turnover between Russia and Ukraine rose nearly eighty percent this year because of improving global conditions but also because ties were "normalized."

Putin appeared tired as he met with senior officials in Kiev on Wednesday. His cheekbones looked puffy he wore heavy makeup.

His spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Putin was in good health. Peskov added that "the light was bad and he was probably tired."

Moscow and Kiev had stormy relations under pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko who sought NATO membership for Ukraine.

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