RIANovosti cites him saying "It's nice to hear today such kind wordsto the Russian language in Ukraine, about the care of theRussian-speaking citizens. We've always thought about it. But Iwant to say that we treat the Ukrainian language with equalrespect. We have no intention to interfere in the domesticpolitical debate in Ukraine, counting on the fact that common sensewill prevail," Putin said on Friday at a ceremony to present stateawards in the Kremlin.
During the ceremony, awards were given toseveral citizens of Ukraine.
The President stressed that Russia "is equallyrespectful of the representatives of different political partiesand movements in Ukraine. We expect only one thing, that thiscommon sense will push us to work together for the benefit of ourcountries and our people," - said Putin. He also stressed that inRussia treats Ukrainians as a brotherly people, despite differencesbetween countries on a range of issues, including the gas one. Iwas especially pleased to see here today representatives of ourfraternal Ukraine.
I want to stress this word - fraternal Ukraine.Because of our endless disputes on gas we somehow forget about themain thing that we are really fraternal peoples," said the RussianPresident. According to Radio Echo of Moscow, in the Kremlin,Vladimir Putin awarded the Pushkin Medal to Ukrainian deputy SerhiiKivalov. He said that Ukraine is planning to amend the Constitutionand make Russian the second official language.