During their one-on-one meeting, the heads of state discussed a wide range of bilateral cooperation issues and a number of international problems, in particular Russia-EU relations.
Later on, the delegation members joined them. They focused on the survival of the Kaliningrad Region in light of the upcoming EU enlargement. The Russian President expressed confidence that the problem would be solved in compliance with the Schengen Agreement and both parties would show their political will. In Mr Putin’s opinion, Russia and the EU should reach a consensus that would allow Russian citizens to travel around Western Europe without any restrictions.
Special attention was given to bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The Russian head of state pointed to the progress in development of business contacts: starting in 2000 the trade turnover between Russia and Germany grew by 80% to reach the 25 billion euros mark. Moreover, cooperation between Russian and German financial and banking companies significantly increased.
They also discussed Russia’s debt, originally in transferable roubles, to Germany. In connection with this, President Putin said the early payment of the debt by the Russian Government testified to the country’s strengthening credit rating.
The heads of state also discussed a number of environmental problems. Mr Putin confirmed Russia’s readiness to ratify the Kyoto Protocol aimed at tackling the problem of global climate change.
Following their talks, the Russian and German Presidents held a news conference.