The talks covered a broad range of issues, in particular the development of relations between Russia and the European Union, the activities of the Russia-NATO Council, European security, the deployment of missile defence in Europe, as well as the possibility of expanding Russian gas supplies following the commissioning of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. The organisation of the Year of Germany in Russia and the Year of Russia in Germany in 2012 and 2013 was discussed separately.
The official welcoming ceremony for the Russian head of state was held before the start of interstate consultations. Dmitry Medvedev and Angela Merkel walked through the guard of honour and welcomed members of the two countries’ delegations.
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President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen,
Ms Merkel, first of all I would like to thank you for choosing the welcoming Hannover as a venue for our meeting. The weather is beautiful and the place is gorgeous. And even the table of this size — I cannot remember where I have seen such a table: you can ride a bicycle straight from one end to another.
I hope that everyone can hear us, because we're not just going to get a bite to eat but will also talk about the development of the Russian-German strategic partnership.
”Most importantly, investment has been growing: German businesses have invested $10.5 billion in the Russian economy, and Russian companies invested about $5 billion in Germany in 2010.“
During this year, which started with consultations in Yekaterinburg, we have confirmed the traditions that were laid many years ago and at the same time continued our frank exchanges of opinions.
We have just attended the Petersburg Dialogue forum. In my opinion, it was interesting, lively and fun, which is truly important for such venues, for people not to fall asleep, and at the same time it was devoted to the most topical issues that unite our civil societies, issues that are sometimes controversial but also very relevant.
Today, during the 13th round of Russian-German interstate consultations our ministers will explore bilateral cooperation issues, given that they are already in constant contact and their interaction is not interrupted for the consultations but, on the contrary, continues in a working mode.
The state of Russian-German relations is good, we have already talked about it, there is growth in trade, which according to German figures this year may reach the level of around 60 billion euros, and according to our statistics about $70 billion, which is a milestone.
Most importantly, investment has been growing: German businesses have invested $10.5 billion in the Russian economy, and Russian companies invested about $5 billion in Germany in 2010. This means that investments are sustainable and have high volumes.
I cannot but note the active efforts of the working group on strategic cooperation in the economy and finance, and its support for our core business projects.
”The state of Russian-German relations is good, we have already talked about it, there is growth in trade, which according to German figures this year may reach the level of around 60 billion euros, and according to our statistics about $70 billion.“
Partnership for modernisation has been of particular importance and become a priority in recent years. I think the promotion of partnership for modernisation was also in the spotlight at the meeting with business leaders today. I'm glad that it is not just a nice idea but is embodied in a number of absolutely tangible, specific projects to be implemented at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre and in other places.
We are currently holding the Russian-German Year of Education, Science and Innovation, as agreed. In this sense it is a very relevant theme.
We have our traditional areas of cooperation, such as energy, which we have already talked about today. Incidentally, this autumn we will commission the first section of the Nord Stream gas pipeline, which I hope will significantly improve the reliability of blue fuel supplies from Russia to Europe and will strengthen the energy security of the European continent as a whole.
We must tackle the issue of effective gas deliveries to final consumers, and there are a number of organisational problems, which I think our colleagues in the Government will still talk about today.
In any case, we must look to the future, look at those strategic alliances that have already been formed and think about how they will change to reflect the development of the situation, for example, the alliance between Rosatom and Siemens in the context of the German energy market. Therefore, we need to understand what will happen in this area next.
”Partnership for modernisation has been of particular importance and become a priority in recent years. I'm glad that it is not just a nice idea but is embodied in a number of absolutely tangible, specific projects to be implemented at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre and in other places.“
Humanitarian ties are continuing to develop, we will hold the Years of Russia in Germany in 2012 and the Year of Germany in Russian in 2013. It is an ambitious project and I hope it will give our people an insight into the life and achievements of Russia and Germany. It will facilitate exchanges among young people, academics and businesses.
Cooperation in the international arena is in our common interest. Yesterday we talked about Libya all evening, as well as the situation in Syria and a variety of other issues. I think such consultations are crucial given the very tense situation in the Middle East and North Africa.
Ms Merkel has mentioned that just under a month ago we marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the Great Patriotic War. It is truly a very difficult and sensitive historical date. We laid flowers today. I am grateful to the Federal Chancellor for such careful attention to this date.
We highly value the commemorative events that took place during this period in the Federal Republic of Germany. I believe this will make an invaluable contribution to the strengthening of bilateral relations between our nations.
Perhaps that is all before the start of our meeting. I hope that the ministers will add more details and fill the gaps we have left.