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Putin makes Second Visit to support Ukrainian Presidential Candidate

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Ukraine on 12 November in what some observers regard as a show of support for Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's presidential bid ahead of the latter's runoff with opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko on 21 November, Ukrainianand international news agencies reported.

Putin was shown on Ukrainian Television channels embracing Yanukovych and wishing him luck in the runoff.

Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Leonid Kuchma attended the signing in Kerch, Crimea, of a bilateral accord to establish a ferry line between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula.

Putin visited Ukraine for three days before the 31 October presidential ballot, when he praised the economic performance of Prime Minister Yanukovych's cabinet in a question-and-answer session that was broadcast live on three television channels and attended a military parade.

(RFE/RL 15.xi.04)

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