Press Conference Following Talks with the Federal Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.Part 1
January 16, 2006
The Kremlin, Moscow
Пресс-конференция по итогам переговоров с Федеральным канцлером ФРГ Ангелой Меркель
16 января 2006 года
PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA VLADIMIR PUTIN: Dear ladies and gentlemen! Madam the Federal Chancellor!
First and foremost I would like to sincerely welcome Madam Merkel who is visiting Moscow for the first time as Federal Chancellor of the Republic of Germany.
We had productive, frank and very open talks. They proved that we both aspire to see the Russian-German partnership continue to develop in a steady way. We intend to strengthen and expand both our bilateral cooperation and cooperation in a multilateral format in every possible way. This means foreign policy, the economy and relations in the cultural and educational spheres. We agreed that interstate consultations between our countries should continue and the next round of talks will take place this April in Tomsk.
We are satisfied with our trade and economic ties at the moment; trade amounted to thirty two billion dollars in 2005 and this is a good benchmark for our cooperation in the sphere of the economy.
We talked about the need to expand our cooperation in the economy, including in the high-tech sector, the energy sector and in major investment projects.
Undoubtedly, all this work will help form the common economic space in Europe on the basis of the appropriate Russia-EU Road Map.
Today’s talks confirmed the affinity of our positions on key international issues. We discussed our cooperation within the G8 in detail. I hope that the themes that we are putting forward for discussion at the G8 will be topical and allow us to solve many problems that face humanity. I am referring to energy security, education and the struggle against epidemics.
We also discussed a great deal of regional problems including European and Middle Eastern ones. Certainly, we discussed the Iranian nuclear programme in quite a bit of detail.
I wish to thank the whole German delegation and Madam Federal Chancellor for their openness and constructive approach to the issues we discussed.
We developed a whole programme for cooperation that includes possible visits to the Federal Republic of Germany. I want to thank Madam Federal Chancellor for the invitation.
FEDERAL CHANCELLOR OF GERMANY ANGELA MERKEL (back translation from German through Russian): Thank you very much. I also wish to thank you on behalf of my delegation for the warm reception during our first trip to Moscow, our first visit to Moscow and our first relations after my inauguration as Federal Chancellor.
We discussed a wide range of issues with the President of the Russian Federation and I am convinced that we have the possibility of expanding our strategic partnership, putting it on a wider base and using it more intensively.
Alongside the intergovernmental consultations that will take place in Tomsk in April 2006 and for which we shall carefully prepare, I invited the President to an international aerospace exhibition in Berlin and also to continue the St Petersburg dialogue which will take place this autumn in Dresden. I think the celebrations linked to Dresden’s 800 th anniversary will create a good context for the meeting.
We talked about how we have relations on many different levels and in a great deal of areas. We spoke about energy politics in a lot of detail, including the Northern European Gas Pipeline. It was once again very obvious that this project is not being carried out against anyone, but is a very important strategic project for Europe and also for Germany. And we are very interested in making sure that trade, which has developed very positively over the last few years, develops in the same way in the future. And I consider that in the future it is necessary that small German businesses participate in trade between our countries.
I consider that we can still expand our cooperation in areas such as youth exchanges and education, and this is also one of the Russian government’s priorities. I think that we will have the opportunity to discuss these issues in more detail in Tomsk.