President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, colleagues.
We met twice over recent times, once in the Urals, to look at manufacturing locomotives, and once in southern Russia, in Tuapse, where you supplied equipment for new installations at an oil refinery.
Siemens has been working on the Russian market for 160 years now and is present in nearly every sector of the Russian economy today. Over the last two years alone, the company has invested around 800 million euros in the Russian economy. This is quite a good result.
Our cooperation with Siemens and other German companies is developing very well. Our trade came to a record $75 billion last year.
The Russian Government is making the effort to ensure good conditions for our cooperation. We decided, for example, not to apply import duties on most of the components that Siemens delivers to Russia.
We hope that our relations will continue to develop just as steadily as they have in the past.
President and CEO of Siemens Ag Joe Kaeser (retranslated): Mr President,
First of all, let me thank you for this meeting.
I want to congratulate you on the superb organisation of the Sochi Olympics, which really were a triumph. They were a successful event that brought together people from different countries and national teams from all around the world to compete in fair and honest competition.
The Olympics were magnificent and the Russian team put on a worthy performance. I want to congratulate you on Russia’s 13 gold medals. I think it is always good when the host country does well at this kind of event.
For our part, we are proud that Siemens was able to make a small contribution of its own to holding a successful Olympics in Sochi. Let me recall that it was our company that supplied the Lastochka trains, which ensured punctual transportation of the Olympics’ participants and spectators. We are very pleased with this and proud of the way it went.
You already mentioned that Siemens has had a presence in Russia for 160 years now. We have worked successfully together over this entire time, coping with the various challenges and trials that we encountered, and making use of the opportunities that came our way. I think that such lasting cooperation is further proof that we can only overcome our trials when we talk to each other and not about each other.
Siemens will continue its work to localise production here and help build up industry in Russia. You mentioned that Siemens has already invested around 800 million euros in the Russian economy. We will continue this investment and will put the emphasis on long-term cooperation and major investment projects.
I met earlier today with the head of Gazprom, and we agreed to continue the long-term cooperation between Siemens and Gazprom.
I hope that in 2018, we will be able to hold as successful a Soccer World Cup as was the Sochi Olympics. I think that this would be a service to the entire world.
Vladimir Putin: Instead of the German national team, it will probably be Bayern Munich playing, right?
Joe Kaeser: As a multinational company, we hold to the principle of “May the strongest win”, but if Bayern Munich has the fortune to win in the Champions’ League, we certainly won’t object.