Earlier in the day, Mr Steinmeier had talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Minister, colleagues, good afternoon.
We are meeting just after the tragic events in Belgium. We will certainly need to give this matter our attention too during our meeting today.
I hope to discuss with you our bilateral relations, Russia’s relations with the European Union, and the most important and acute situations taking shape in different parts of the world.
Before we start though, let me note that despite the difficulties we face, our foreign ministries are working together with quite some energy.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier: (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President, for this warm welcome.
I am very pleased that we once again have the chance to exchange views on the current situation in the world. It certainly is cause for concern, because of, but not only because of the terrible terrorist attacks yesterday in Brussels.
Yesterday’s terrorist attacks show that we live in a world full of conflicts and tension, especially in the Middle East. I am pleased that over these last months, we have had plenty of opportunities to discuss possible solutions to these crises. As for Syria, we have definitely made some progress over these last two to three months.
We will discuss the situation in Syria, of course, and in Ukraine. I am pleased that there are trends in our bilateral relations that give cause for optimism.
As for the fight against terrorism, we clearly need to concentrate our efforts to prevent this threat.