Putin, Merkel to continue consultations on Thursday
TOMSK, April 27 (Itar-Tass) -Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will begin second round of Russian-German inter-state consultations in Tomsk on Thursday.
Before the consultations, Putin and Merkel will meet Russian and German businessmen. “It’s not an independent business forum but a meeting timed to coincide with the consultations. It will enable entrepreneurs to share concerns with their leaders,” presidential aide Sergei Prikhodko said.
About 60 Russian and German businessmen, including the heads of German firms E.ON, BASF, Siemens, Deutcheban, Metro and Braun as well as Russian companies Gazprom, the Unified Energy Systems of Russia, the Russian Railways, Sistema, Severstal, MiG, Sukhoi and several banks will take part in the economic forum.
After that, Putin and Merkel will join the Russian and German delegations in the building of city library. The Russian delegation is represented by the foreign and interior ministers, the ministers of finance, economic development and trade, industry and energy, IT and communications, education and science, public health and social development, culture and mass communications, transport, regional development, natural resources as well as the director of the Foreign Intelligence Service. He added the Berlin delegation would also be representative.
Trade and economic ties will be central to the talks. “The volume of reciprocal trade in 2005 has hit a record worth $32.9 billion. It indicated a 38.2% increase in one year,” Prikhodko went on to say.
Putin and Merkel will discuss cooperation in the fuel and energy sector, gas and oil industries, deliveries of fuel and energy resources and energy security. The sides will discuss specific cooperation projects in such areas as the power sector (including the construction of the North European Pipeline), machine-building and automobile production, transport, infrastructure, the banking business and participation of German business circles in carrying out Russian national projects,” Prikhodko went on to say.
He added that the two sides had preserved the succession of relations after the change of government in Germany. The Russian-German interaction hasn’t slowed down, the positive impulse has been preserved and mutual trade turnover is set to grow.
“We think that the arrival of a new government in Germany has not impaired our relations and we are optimistic about their future,” Prikhodko said in conclusion.