President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Chairman of the Political Council of Opposition Platform-For Life party Viktor Medvedchuk met in Moscow and discussed issues of bilateral relations between the two countries. Specifically, they talked through the matter of possible lifting of sanctions, which could ease the restoration of economic cooperation between Ukraine and Russia.
"Of course, over the last several years, Ukraine and Russia's relations have been complicated. First of all, economic and trade relations. Particularly, it has to do with the sanction regime imposed by the Ukrainian government, Mr. Poroshenko (the-then President of Ukraine, - 112 International)", Medvedchuk said.
He added that the Council of Association of "League of Machine-Building Enterprises and Employers of Ukraine Ukrmashbud" turned to him and Opposition Platform-For Life, asking for assistance in the regard of canceling some of the sanctions against certain products. These products belong to machine engineering, agriculture, winery, and paper industry; all of these branches suffered from Russian economic sanctions.
"In fact, these people either left without a job or live a way that wouldn't let them support their families and take care of themselves. I would like you to consider certain written offers, which I brought - if it's possible", Medvedchuk said.
"We weren't the ones who imposed sanctions. Whatever we do we do in response to the states that took certain steps against Russia. I totally get what you mean, and my heart aches because people in Ukraine who worked at enterprises aiming for increasing sales in Russia are now in a tough spot. That's the main thing, and it's something we'd want to fix", Putin said.
The Russian leader expressed hope that Ukraine and Russia could eventually restore bilateral relations.
"We are ready for this, for this situation to be turned upside down. But we cannot make any exceptions from the list of those countries that have imposed sanctions against us. This is the main problem... Nevertheless, it is still necessary to prepare for this, someday, I hope it will happen," Putin said.
“I know that, despite all the difficulties, you take a clear position on the restoration of Ukrainian-Russian relations and moreover on all levels. We are very glad that there are political forces in Ukraine that openly and honestly take this position. We are ready to assist in the restoration of the relations. We hope that you will have more supporters in this regard," Putin said, adding that he was ready to begin work on lifting the sanctions Medvedchuk spoke of.