Moscow's Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has thanked President Viktor Yanukovych for canceling the decision to declare him persona non grata in Ukraine, a decision that prohibited him from entering the country.
Luzhkov was speaking in Simferopol at a meeting with the leadership of the Crimea.
"I want to express heartfelt gratitude to Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych for the decision that he made, which once again granted me the opportunity to directly resolve issues of interrelations in various areas between Moscow and the Crimea, between Moscow and regions of Ukraine," Luzhkov said.
According to Luzhkov, the election of the new authorities in Ukraine marked the beginning of a new area in Ukraine's relations with Ukraine.
"The muddy times and the unreasonable times are in the past," Luzhkov said
According to him, it is unreasonable to disunite Russians and Ukrainians because they are people with the same fate.
"Those times were connected with [attempts to] push our countries apart from each other in political terms. They were fundamentally unreasonable because our people are the closest of relatives, brotherly people, and people with a single fate. Regarding economics, little reasonable was said, it was wildness, the wildness of isolation that resulted in the most serious of losses in our ability to solve social problems, solve developmental problems," Luzhkov said.
Luzhkov was banned from entering Ukraine on May 12, 2008, for his statements about the ownership of Sevastopol.
As Ukrainian News earlier reported, Parliamentary Deputy Viacheslav Kyrylenko of the Our Ukraine-People's Self-Defense bloc said on July 9, 2010, that Luzhkov was no longer persona non grata in Ukraine.
Luzhkov said at a press conference on July 19 that he had not abandoned his conviction that Sevastopol was a Russian city.