|Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (R) and his Latvian counterpart Andris Berzins shake hands during their meeting in Kiev, Ukraine, March 14, 2013. (Xinhua/Ukrainian President's press service)
KIEV, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Latvian counterpart, Andris Berzins, pledged Thursday to strengthen bilateral relations and cooperate on Ukraine's integration into the European Union (EU).
Yanukovych said that relations between the two countries have maintained momentum, and that Ukraine attaches importance to economical and political ties with Latvia.
"I would like to underline the current positive dynamics of the Ukrainian-Latvian political contacts," he said.
Ukraine considers Latvia as an important trading partner, Yanukovych said, adding that bilateral trade rose by 28 percent last year.
Berzins, for his part, spoke highly of Kiev-Riga relations and said his country fully supports Ukraine's European integration efforts.
"Latvia and Ukraine are not only partners, but friends too. We fully support Ukraine's aspirations for European integration," said Berzins, who is in Kiev for a state visit.
Latvia is ready to provide Ukraine with advice and help in adapting legislation to the 27-member bloc's standards, he added.