President Vladimir Putin: German Oskarovich (talking to German Gref), you are about to visit Poland, and this essentially marks the conclusion of work with our Polish colleagues. Tell me something about this, and also about the results of your visit to Germany.
Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref: In accordance with the order that you gave during Polish President Kwasniewski’s visit, we developed a project for an agreement on trade and economic cooperation, and incentive and protection of capital investments in the Republic of Poland. Tomorrow this agreement will be signed in Warsaw. We will also hold a Russian-Polish business summit, primarily for middle business enterprises and the high-technology sphere. As the export-import situation with Poland is currently that 90% of export from Russia is raw materials and semi-manufactured articles, and 70% of the same goods are imported to Russia from Poland, it is of course very important for us to change the structure of trade turnover. So one and a half days will be spent on talks about what we can do in this area, and in signing agreements on holding a seminar with entrepreneurs from Poland and Russia.
Last week, Mikhail Fradkov and I were in Germany. This was also the first forum planned by a high-level working group, and over 500 small and middle-business entrepreneurs were present. They were, again, mainly from the processing industry and from science-intensive and high technology sectors. This was all planned and conducted within a day. The results are very interesting. A large number of people spoke. There were many proposals to simplify the investment regime, and the regime for cooperation – both the customs procedure, and removing all barriers in the path of the development of small and middle-business entrepreneurs. A resolution was passed, and the atmosphere was very good. We made a lot of conclusions about what needs to be done to improve cooperation between Russian and German firms. Talks were held with several major German companies, which are about to make a decision on investing in the Russian Federation. By the end of the year, when your meeting with the German Chancellor Schroeder is planned, at the meeting in December, we will try to prepare agreements that have already been signed.
Sergei Viktorovich (talking to Sergei Lavrov) the constitution of the European Union was just signed in Rome, which is a very important event in international politics.
Tomorrow Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi is visiting Moscow. We will discuss bilateral issues and issues of relations with Europe. How has the ministry prepared for this visit?
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: We are currently completing preparation of a political document which will be passed by Italian Prime Minister and you. It contains the positions of our countries on key regional problems. Our positions are very close. We have a broad dialogue with Italy on the basis of your agreements with Prime Minister Berlusconi on such issues as the role of the UN in the modern world, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and of course the war on terrorism, and the situation in Iraq. Concrete tasks for both nations have been formulated on all these issues. There will be a survey of the state of bilateral relations, and ministers will also take part.