VATICAN CITY, 1 JUN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

"This morning, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Viktor Yushchenko, president of Ukraine. Subsequently the president, accompanied by Volodymyr Khandogiy, his ad interim foreign minister, went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

"During the cordial discussions attention focused on the international situation. At the bilateral level, the good relations between Ukraine and the Holy See were noted with pleasure, as were the prospects for increased collaboration in the cultural and social fields. While expressing the desire to find equitable solutions to outstanding questions between State and Church, mention was also made of the Catholic Church's contribution to Ukrainian society for education in Christian values and their diffusion, and of the importance of dialogue among Christians in order to promote unity, while respecting everyone and with the aim of peaceful coexistence".