President Vladimir Putin: First of all, I would like to greet you once again. We will soon be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Federal Republic of Germany. In this respect I would like to recall that this event took place during a visit to Moscow by Mr Adenauer, who was chancellor at that time and the leader of your party. A lot of credit also goes to Mr Kohl, with who we have very good relations, more than just a partnership, I would say. He and I always meet regularly when he comes to Moscow. And I would, of course, like to express the hope that this commitment to developing bilateral relations between our countries will remain strong no matter what the results of the political processes underway in Germany.
Angela Merkel: For my part, I can say that I am of course continuing the traditions of Konrad Adenauer. I can say this as leader of the Christian-Democrat Party and I can affirm that we have an interest in continuing to develop the relations between our countries. If we do come to power, we will pursue the development of relations between Russia and Germany.
(speaking in Russian) “We will develop a strategic partnership”.
Were it not for the election campaign, I would have been happy to come to Moscow to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations because it is an important milestone in our history, a milestone also linked to the return home of German prisoners-of-war who were in the Soviet Union at that time.