As Mr Putin arrived at the German Parliament, Wolfgang Thierse, the President of the Bundestag, greeted him on the Bundestag and the Bundesrat’s behalf.
Mr Thierse spoke for closer all-round Russian-German partnership, and pointed out Mr Putin’s excellent command of the German language and history.
He stressed the importance of the enlargement of the European Union and called for building a peaceful and democratic European home, which could not survive without friendly contacts and close partnership with Russia.
He also said that Russia could play a unique part in the struggle against terrorism. In Mr Thierse’s opinion, history will take a new turn if Russia, China, Germany and other NATO countries, the Arab world and the United States together vanquish international terrorism. He is convinced that Mr Putin is one of the first statesmen who make such a union a tangible prospect.
In his address to German members of Parliament, Mr Putin highly praised the level of Russian-German relations, and spoke in detail about the fight against terrorism and about building the European home.
A major part of his address was made in German.
The Russian television broadcast his speech live.
After his address, which lasted 25 minutes, Mr Putin met with parliamentary group spokesmen. They talked in German, and an interpreter’s help was necessary only occasionally.
Mr Putin expressed satisfaction with bilateral parliamentary contacts and called to step them up.
He was asked questions concerning further economic liberalisation in Russia, practical methods of anti-terrorist struggle, NATO enlargement, and the role of the OSCE.
Both spokesmen of the ruling coalition and the opposition said Mr Putin’s address to Parliament was a landmark event. Mr Thierse reassured him that he could rely on Bundestag support.