The meeting took place after a ceremony launching operations at a new primary crude oil processing facility at the Tuapse Refinery.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr Kaeser, colleagues and friends,
It is a real pleasure to meet with the head of a company that has been our big and reliable partner for so many years now. Siemens has a diverse range of interests in Russia, and this is very pleasing to see. You have interests in energy-sector machine-building, transport, including rail transport, medicine and a number of other areas.
As far as I know, the company plans big investment over the next two years in projects in Russia. We are very happy to hear this and of course will give all possible support.
Siemens is already carrying out some very fruitful projects in the transport sector. They include the high-speed rail links between Moscow and St Petersburg and Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, and also the work you are doing not far from here, in Krasnaya Polyana, as part of the Olympic project.
I am sure that the future holds much of interest and importance for your company and for the Russian economic sectors. Siemens will undoubtedly make its contribution to developing Russian-German economic cooperation and will help Germany to become once more Russia’s biggest trade and economic partner, as it was a few years ago.
President and Chief Executive officer of Siemens Ag Joe Kaeser (translated from Russian): Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you very much for such a warm reception. Of course I consider it a great honour that you have found time in your busy schedule to meet with me.
This is my first meeting with a head of state. Sadly, the Federal Chancellor [of Germany, Angela Merkel] did not have time to meet, but you have found the time.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you on this oil processing facility’s successful launch. I congratulate you, Rosneft, and all of Russia’s people.
The project is indeed impressive. It uses the most advanced technology, and we are happy to have been able to contribute to its completion.
I was especially impressed by the direct linkup with facilities elsewhere all around the world, which gave me the chance to see for myself the scale of Rosneft’s international activities.
As for the relations between Siemens and Russia, they cannot be described as simply supplier-customer ties. We have a genuine partnership that has developed over the course of 160 years. I think this gives us every reason to say that over this time we have become friends and have made a positive contribution to developing relations between our countries.
Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I want to assure our partners at Rosneft that this project is just the start of future successful cooperation. I know that my predecessor, Mr [Peter] Loescher, made a particular effort to develop successful ties and I want to assure you that we will keep doing everything we can to continue this tradition.
Of course we intend to continue this successful partnership and complete all of the investment projects we have planned. Mr President, you know that the first billion in investment is always the hardest step, but once we are on to the second billion everything becomes easier. We will continue to make our contribution to Russia’s industrialisation, to making production facilities more energy-efficient, and to medical technology. I think that we have every chance of successfully expanding our partnership for the benefit of Russia’s people and in our own company’s interests too of course.
Vladimir Putin: You mentioned Rosneft. Rosneft is now a stakeholder in four companies in Germany. You could work together in Germany and in Russia. I am sad though, that we have essentially lost one promising area for cooperation, namely, the nuclear energy industry.
Germany has decided not to develop nuclear energy, and this is its sovereign decision. There is nothing unusual here. But we could have worked together on developing technology that would be used in other countries, countries that are developing nuclear energy. I do not really understand why we couldn’t have done this. It is a pity.
You are right though in saying that we have plenty of other areas for cooperation. So, let’s concentrate on the areas in which we are working together and develop new fields of cooperation too.