It was Mr Putin’s first state visit to Germany.
He was welcomed with guard of honour and an artillery salute at the Berlin-Tegel Airport, decorated for the occasion with Russian, German and European Union flags.
The Russian delegation went by helicopters to the Schloss Bellvue, President Rau’s Berlin residence.
Johannes and Christina Rau warmly greeted Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin at the helicopter upon arrival.
Mr Putin was paid the highest military honours, with the Russian and German national flags hoisted and anthems played. Three service branches’ honour guard company commander reported to Mr Putin. The Russian and German Presidents inspected the guard, after which the company marched past them to the accompaniment of the band. A tricolour ribbon of the Russian flag, which decorated the German military standard during the welcoming ceremony, testified to a high level of bilateral relations.
Mr Putin thanked the honour guard commander and talked to the German schoolchildren who had come to greet him.