Kremlin And Kiev To Meet

President Dmitry Medvedev agreed with his Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday to hold their first meeting in early June and urged him to stand by earlier deals with Moscow.

The Kremlin press office said in a statement that Medvedev, sworn in earlier this month, telephoned Yushchenko to "give an assessment of a number of steps undertaken by the Ukrainian side affecting Russian interests."

"[Yushchenko's] attention was drawn to the need to stick to the principles of partnership in Russian-Ukrainian relations, not to allow unilateral decisions and steps which violate earlier obligations and agreements," it said.

The statement did not specify which of the many irritants in ties between the two states Medvedev meant.

Earlier this year Ukraine and Georgia won a promise from NATO that they could eventually join, though without a firm timetable.

Russia considers Georgian and Ukrainian accession to NATO as a threat to its own security.

Moscow is also at odds with Kiev over the future of its military base in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol. Kiev wants the Russian Navy to leave after a lease agreement expires in 2017, while Moscow is seeking to extend the deal.

Periodic clashes over gas prices and transit tariffs are also a major problem in relations as Ukraine receives most of its gas from Russia and hosts the biggest transit pipeline to Europe.

The Kremlin statement said Medvedev and Yushchenko agreed to discuss relations during a meeting in Russia's second city of St Petersburg, on the sidelines of an economic forum on June 6-8.