Luzhkov to join celebrations of Yanukovych’s 60th birthday

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July 9, 2010, 10:16 a.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov to congratulate Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych

Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov will travel to Kyiv on Friday evening to congratulate Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych on his 60th birthday, a source in the Moscow authorities told Interfax. "This is going to be Luzhkov's first visit to Ukraine since the ban on his entry of Ukraine was lifted," he said.

Luzhkov confirmed in early June that he was free to visit Ukraine now. "We talked recently with President Viktor Yanukovych, who assured me that I am no longer a persona non grata," Luzhkov told Interfax then.

The Moscow mayor said in Sevastopol on May 11 2008 that Sevastopol, as a Soviet and Russian naval base, had never been handed over to Ukraine and must be returned to Russia. In response, the Ukrainian National Security Service denied entry of Ukraine to Luzhkov, while the then president, Viktor Yuschenko, condemned his statement.

Ukraine's angry reaction surprised the Russian Foreign Ministry, which described it as inappropriate and unfriendly.

Russian Senator Oleg Tolkachev, representing Moscow, said that, "the orange authorities, led by Yuschenko, were awfully scared" by Luzhkov's statement.

On May 29, 2010 public organizations in Sevastopol and Moscow urged Yanukovych, at the initiative of the Sevastopol Patriots Association, to lift the ban on Luzhkov's travel to Ukraine. Their request was granted.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous July 10, 2010, 7:57 a.m.    

Welcome back out Slavic brother compatriot, Mayor Luzhkov. Happy birthday President Yanukovich.

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Anonymous July 11, 2010, 8:18 p.m.    

Maybe Yanukovich can appoint him to be a good will ambassador to Crimea- after he leaves his tenure as mayor and becomes a ukrainian citizen- it is not beyond the realm of possibility with this administration-

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Anonymous July 10, 2010, 11:05 a.m.    

Yes, welcome back to Soviet Union, good bye free Ukraine!

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