In his speech, President Putin discussed Russian-German ties, as well as Russia’s relations with NATO and the European Union.
President Putin said fair relations must be maintained within the 20-country format (19 NATO states plus Russia), and that this was Moscow’s principled stand. The Russian leader stressed that the quality of mutual relations would not improve, unless the 19 NATO countries stopped holding preliminary consultations beforehand and then informing Russia of the results.
Vladimir Putin said Russia guaranteed the timely and top-quality fulfilment of its obligations in the energy sphere, provided that Europe was ready for long-term cooperation with Moscow in this field.
Gerhard Schroeder said global peace and prosperity were unthinkable without Russia, that this was the main pillar of the German policies, and that Germany wanted Russia to become an equal partner of NATO, the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. The German Chancellor said the Russian President’s expectations with regards to cooperation within the 20-country format were justified.