The current state of bilateral relations and prospects for their development was the subject of discussion.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also took part in the meeting.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Minister, colleagues, let me wish you a warm welcome.
We have regular, ongoing contact, and I hope that this will continue. We are aware of the situation today and the state of our relations. As I see it, our common task is to return our relations to normal and resolve all difficulties encountered on the way.
I hope very much to discuss in detail with you today our bilateral relations and the tasks that we can resolve only if many countries pool their efforts.
We look forward to a visit by the Federal Chancellor [Angela Merkel]. I ask you to pass on to her my very best wishes.
German Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President.
It is wonderful that you found the time for this exchange and dialogue. I already had a substantial discussion on various subjects with Sergei Lavrov today.
I also think, and you are quite right, that despite the various difficulties before us, we do have the task of ensuring peace and stability in Europe. This is not easy, but it is something that is worth the effort.
It is with pleasure that I will pass on your best wishes to the Federal Chancellor, and I too hope that the opportunity will come up for her visit. I think that the Federal President [President-elect Frank-Walter Steinmeier] also plans to visit. We therefore have every reason to be confident in our bilateral relations’ stability.
Vladimir Putin: We would be happy to see Mr Steinmeier too. We have very good relations with him dating from his time as Germany’s foreign minister.