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Russia-Ukraine relationship 'pragmatic' - Margelov

11 December 2013 Last updated at 12:59 GMT

The Russian Federation Council's Mikhail Margelov has told BBC HARDtalk Russia's economic relationship with Ukraine is "pragmatic."

Asked about reports of Russian officials placing heavy pressure on Ukraine not to sign a trade deal with the European Union, Senator Margelov said they were only trying to point out how "interdependent" Ukraine's economy is with those of other former Soviet countries - and that they could help Ukraine overcome its economic problems.

Since late November, thousands of pro-EU Ukrainians have been protesting in Kiev over the government's decision not to sign the partnership deal with the EU and calling for the president and government to resign.

You can watch the full interview on BBC World News on Wednesday 11 December at 16:30 and 21:30 GMT and on the BBC News Channel at 00:30 on Thursday 12 December.

Watch more clips at HARDtalk's website

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