President Vladimir Putin: Ladies and Gentlemen,
We would like to briefly inform you that we have already begun working. This really is the case, as our first conversation was very intensive and very substantial indeed. We looked at practically every area in which we cooperate and, for the moment, have not yet discussed probably only international issues. What I particularly wish to note is that we had a very candid and open discussion. For my part, I can say that I heard everything on which our German colleagues have had questions or sought clarification, and our position has been clearly explained on all issues of mutual interest. As you saw, we have just had a very good meeting with the graduates and interns who studied in Germany as part of the programme for training managers. You saw what a hospitable reception was given to the Federal Chancellor. These words apply to everyone who is receiving our German friends here in Tomsk, in Siberia. I am sure that our meetings tomorrow will be just as substantial and productive in terms of the results we hope to achieve.
Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel (translated from German through Russian): We have just held our first meeting. As the President said, this first round of talks addressed a very large number of different subjects. We discussed economic cooperation, financial cooperation, energy sector cooperation and, very importantly, we also discussed cooperation in the areas of scientific research, innovation and in youth and cultural exchanges. We examined many issues and the number of these issues shows just how broad a base our cooperation has today. I think that the bilateral talks between the different ministers will highlight this fact even more. I would like to stress that our conversation was very intensive and very open in spirit. This shows that both sides want to cooperate and that both sides want to expand and intensify this cooperation. It also demonstrates the strategic character of our partnership.
We did not talk about foreign policy issues. We will do that later tonight. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for the very hospitable reception here in Tomsk. I also very much enjoyed talking with the grant recipients and the interns who shared their experiences with us and whose stories reflect the vitality of our relations. We will be very happy to see you all tomorrow at the press conference.