Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Minister!
I am glad to see you and to have the opportunity to welcome you to Moscow. Relations between our countries are very close. And you made a significant contribution to this in your previous post. Therefore we very much hope that both the quality and speed with which the countries cooperate will be preserved in the future. And with respect to the agreement that was concluded between the Christian Democratic Union, Christian Social Union and the Social Democratic Party of Germany, at least concerning foreign policy and relations with Russia, the agreement provides good grounds for hoping that events will develop in a positive way.
During our last conversation with Madam Federal Chancellor we agreed to meet in the middle of January and to hold intergovernmental consultations in Tomsk in March of next year.
I hope that during today's discussions we will be able to talk about both these topics as well as others that are in our mutual interest.
Frank Walter Steinmeyer: Many thanks Mr President. This is already my third visit to Moscow, and I have the opportunity to meet not only Mr Medvedev, my former colleague and previous Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office who is now in a new post, and my new colleague Mr Lavrov. And of course, this meeting with you is a special honour. And indeed, your interpretation of the coalition agreement is correct. Not only will the strategic partnership be kept, but we value it very much. And I consider the fact that Madam Federal Chancellor will arrive here in the middle of January, and that high-level intergovernmental consultations will take place in March, very significant. We have a great deal to do. Regarding energy deliveries we have already significantly moved forward. We have also concluded an agreement on youth exchanges. And we should also develop new initiatives.
However, we should not only discuss issues of future cooperation that we have voluntarily chosen, but also discuss topical security problems. I hope that we will have the opportunity to do so during one of our conversations – the topic of Iran, for example.
Vladimir Putin: The Federal Republic of Germany has always been a very important partner in our bilateral relations, and as a member of the European Union; it is also true with respect to coordinating our positions on pressing international problems.