The gathering met the Russian President and his wife with applause at the Schloss Bellevue, the presidential residence in Berlin.
In his address, Mr Rau described Mr Putin’s speech at the Bundestag as very impressive. He said that it had been the first time when a Russian President was speaking in reunited Germany and its undivided capital. He gave a high opinion of the Russian leader’s entire visit to Germany.
The German President said that at the start of the 21st century, Germany and Russia were on the threshold of a new stage in the history they shared. He explained that he was not referring to a special German-Russian road to Europe but joint responsibility for Europe and the whole world.
As he thanked his hosts for a warm welcome, Mr Putin stressed that Russian-German partnership was becoming a reliable part of united Europe. An effective cooperation mechanism has been made, and Russia is willing to improve it in every possible way. That is what matters most, he said.