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Ukrainian presidential candidate meets Russian PM in Moscow

Published
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, as Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, right, attends their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)

MOSCOW (AP) — A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies.

Yuri Boyko, a rare openly pro-Russian candidate, trails far behind a comedian, a former premier and the incumbent president in opinion polls ahead of Ukraine's presidential election on March 31.

Boyko spoke with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Friday in the meeting that was televised live on Ukrainian television. Boyko said he would like Ukraine to resume gas purchases from Russia, which should lower the skyrocketing utility bills for Ukrainians.

The very visit is rare for Ukrainian politicians these days, since any connections to Russia are largely regarded as toxic because of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014 and its ongoing support for separatists in the deadly conflict in Ukraine's east.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, right, during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
From left, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom Head Alexei Miller, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk talk during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
From left, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom Head Alexei Miller, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk talk during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
From left, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom Head Alexei Miller, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk talk during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, right, during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, right, during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, talks with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, and Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk during their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, as Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, right, attends their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, left, shakes hands with Ukrainian presidential candidate Yuri Boyko, center, as Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, right, attends their meeting in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2019. A Ukrainian presidential candidate has traveled to Moscow to meet with the Russian prime minister to discuss gas supplies. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP)